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REVIEW: One Step Closer Deliver A New Modern Classic With ‘All You Embrace’ 9.5

REVIEW: One Step Closer Deliver A New Modern Classic With ‘All You Embrace’


Wilkes-Barre natives One Step Closer have released their sophomore record, ‘All You Embrace’. This marks their first release since 2023’s ‘Songs for the Willow’ EP and their first full-length since 2021’s ‘This Place You Know’. This record dives into the band expanding their sound from their melodic hardcore roots to adding some emo bits to their sound, and some pop-punk elements on a couple of songs. 

The record opens with “Color You”, which feels like a perfect track to open with. It really sets the tone for the whole record, as well as ushering in the new sound for the band with their signature sound still in tact with it. The chorus flows so incredibly well, it gives a lot of old Citizen vibes. Shoutout to the lyric, “you left a mark and chose to forget how dark this covered you”. It really dives into a lot of the themes of the entire record in a hauntingly cool way. We’re followed up with the lead single from the record, “Leap Years”. This is easily one of the best tracks of the year and this is already a great song to show off in a live setting. This track feels like a perfect blend of hardcore, emo, and pop-punk all in one. The vocals delivered by vocalist Ryan Savitski are truly a standout here, you can feel the emotion throughout. It delivers an incredible chorus, and the change-up after the second chorus all the way to the end of the song is incredible. It’s definitely a track that shows off the band’s styles really well and a great first impression to new listeners. It’s followed up by the fourth and final single from the record, “Blur My Memory”. This song keeps up the energy right from the jump, and it’s definitely one I can see also going over well live. The breakdown near the end really captures the raw intensity of this band and what they can accomplish. Another lyric that stands out from this whole record is “I’ll drown in angst, but not today. The choice was made to set myself free”. They’re just pulling out some real gems for this record huh. I’d also like to shoutout the production on this entire album, it’s absolutely nuts how crisp and right it sounds. The piano at the end is a pretty nice touch, and it transitions into the next song pretty nicely. We jump to a slower, more chill kind of track with “The Gate”. It really gives off some real ‘Youth’ by Citizen vibes, especially in Savitski‘s vocals. This kind of song feels at home with this placement on the record, especially after two energy-driven songs. I appreciate One Step Closer‘s choice to include more singing on this record, because it fits incredibly well for them and the vocals kill it from start to finish. The instrumentals are a standout on this track as well, especially the acoustic bit at the end. 

The energy picks back up with my personal favorite track from the record, with “Your Hazel Tree”. This song has vibes of their track “Turn to Me” from that last EP, as it incorporates more of a pop-punk leaning sound. I think that’s what makes the hardcore section in this track hit especially hard when it comes. So much so that I think this one has the potential to be an incredible live song. It’s accompanied by a great chorus and huge melodies, the vocals are so clean and delivered with passion. The next track dives into a lot of the same energy as the last track, with “Orange Leaf”. This one is probably the track that leans most into it’s pop-punk elements, but still contain hardcore bits sprinkled in. I appreciate this band having variety on this record, and playing to their strengths while growing their sound. This one’s another highlight for me, as it feels very nostalgic in its sound and it’s lyrics especially. It gives off some real 90’s pop-punk vibes, in the best way possible. The lyrics paint a picture so well, to where it feels specific to this band and that’s a trait that most bands would kill to have. We’re followed up with a 2000’s emo leaning type of song, with “Esruc”. It’s a track that reminds me of a band like Bayside, which I wouldn’t have expected on this record but it’s another welcome kind of song that works well for them. This track didn’t hit with me at first listen, but it’s grown on me with repeated listens and it flies by more and more as I spend more time with it. We’re off to the next track with a more 2010’s emo-leaning song, with “Slow to Let Go”. I can definitely sense some of the Title Fight influence here especially, which makes since they’re both PA natives. The drums actually stand out here the most out of any of the other tracks, delivered by drummer Tommy Norton. The riffs and the solo delivered by guitarists Colman O’ Brien and Ross Thompson are impressive here as well. I absolutely appreciate how natural the tempo slows down in the middle of the track, and picks back up for the final chorus. This band has a real knack at playing with composition and what makes a song flow the best.

We keep that same energy for the track following, with “Topanga”. First off, I’m a sucker for a Boy Meets World reference, so hats off to the band for that. This is another easy highlight for me off this record, it’s an example of this band captured so well in a song. The lyrics especially hit hard on here, pondering the meaning of life and what’s it all for? And what makes us happy or not happy? The bridge on this is incredibly powerful and super memorable from this whole record. The energy here is displayed incredibly well and I can see this track being a fan favorite as soon as the record drops. We’ve reached the penultimate track and the second single from the album, with “Giant’s Despair”. To say this at the top, this track is this band’s crowning achievement. It’s a real testament of this band starting to reach their full potential, chalk full of incredible songwriting and hooks. The chorus is absolutely massive and I wouldn’t be surprised if this track stays in their set forever. The bridge all the way through that outro is the epitome of euphoria and what I’d imagine it feels like. The sax in that outro is such an inspired choice and it’s the coolest shit, it especially works great for them. It’s an easy highlight off this whole album, and it shows off the growth this band has achieved on this record alone. It transitions into the final track of the record seamlessly, with “So Far from Me”. This one feels like as fitting of a closer for this album can be. It builds up pretty nicely, as it start off slow and continuously builds energy through it’s choruses until it’s pure aggression by the end. I love the vibe here so much, especially in the chorus and outro. “No matter what, someone always leaves. If it’s best for you, you’re still so far from me” is a lyric that hits deep and it’s one that I’ll carry from this record. I wouldn’t be surprised if this track ends up being their closing song to their live set at some point, it’s too good to pass up. The goodbye at the end feels so incredibly earned after the journey this record takes you. 

For a sophomore record, ‘All You Embrace’ by One Step Closer is an album that is sure to be a new modern favorite amongst the emo community. It gives off the same kind of legacy that bands like Movements, Title Fight, or Citizen have left over the years. That feeling is present all throughout this record, and it’s easily my favorite record of the year. I urge everyone who digs this kind of music to give this one a listen, I promise it’ll be worth it. This band is about to take over the genre in full force after this record.



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Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.