A bit of harmless, abrasive skate punk can never be a bad thing. Chris Hearn explains why.
I suspect the members of First Step To Failure may own the entire Fat Wreck Chords catalogue, and I would say very proudly so. In fact, they even got a band logo that copies Fat Wreckâs. Go figure. Not a huge surprise given their sound.
Once again, this is a case of a band not being original in the slightest, but doing a great job of not being original. Look, music doesnât always have to be about reinventing the wheel. These guys definitely have not reinvented anything, but they play with passion and they seem to enjoy what they are doing. What more could you want? Ya, this maybe 15 years out of date, but that doesnât mean itâs bad. It means they are playing the music they appear to love. Good on them.
This is the first release from upstart Glasgow record label, Cold War Legacy Records. Itâs a decent way to kick off a new label. According to their press release, they have one mission: âloud bloody musicâ. Canât argue with a manifesto like that! I look forward to hearing more from them indeed, and wonder what loud bloody music they will deliver to us next?
As far as this album, apparently it was âtwo years in the making.â Well, itâs a pretty damn short album for 2 years in the making! Seven quick tracks! I canât imagine how long it would take them to make a 16 track album! Donât worry; there is an explanation, courtesy of vocalist Niall Penman: âThis EP should have come out much sooner, but with a lineup change came a chance to write something better than anything weâd ever written in the past.â Yup, I guess lineup changes will do that.
The current lineup is Niall Penman, Andrew ‘Weasel’ O’Hara on guitar, Ewan “Norm” Normand on bass, Paul Higgins on drums and Danny OâMalley on guitar. This appears to be their third release, and the first on this new label. And, according to Penman, “With this EP we feel like weâve really grown up. To start with, we can actually all play our instruments now!” Hey, well, there you go, thatâs progress but, to be honest, I donât hear much difference between the new stuff and their older stuff, like this song off of their âNew Wheelsâ EP:
Regardless, in the end, they put together a good collection of upbeat, 90âs style skater pop punk tunes along the lines of Strung Out, NOFX, Lagwagon, et al. Again, not original, but thatâs not a problem. If anything, it will probably be a bit of a nostalgic flash back for some who pick up this album. And, with this album I think far more friends will be revealed than enemies.
Check out First Step to Failureâs Facebook pageÂ HEREÂ and their Twitter feed HERE. Go to their bandcamp page or their Soundcloud page to get some of their music. Apparently, âOur True Enemy Is Yet To Reveal Itselfâ will also be released in physical form with a limit of 100 copies, each with hand written liner notes. Thatâs a pretty cool little collectorâs item right there.
And be sure to keep an eye on Cold War Legacy. Something tells me this label is going to put out some good stuff.
All words by Chris Hearn. Read more from Chris HERE