I’ve never been one to review a band based on titles or release strategy, because that shit doesn’t really matter, but in all aspects, Stepbrothers seem to be a band stuck between two states, unable to fully decide where to lay themselves down. Their music, most notably (as I’ll talk about later), but also in the way their pages are named (stepbrothersfornow.bandcamp.com), and the fact that they’ve shortened the long title of their record from Why the Fuck Would Anything Nice Ever Happen? to WTFWANEH on some of their promotional materials. Stepbrothers are stuck in purgatory. They’re the embodiment of their name. Not quite a part of the family, but still expected to live in the house.
But their music rocks, a good amount of the time. They describe themselves as an emo-ish punk band, but they’re sometimes emo, sometimes punk, and rarely at the same time. On the first track of their record, “Here I Am,” the band is fantastic. On track two, “You’re a Fuckin’ Loser,” the band sounds a little too much like Rise Against. “You’re a Doctor, Is this a Mole?” finds the band in full form, with awesome guitars and a great chorus. The companion track “I’m Not A Doctor, That’s a Raisin” is pretty good as well. “I’m Somebody’s Dad” is another standout track. The album includes three features (including Matt Kupka of the awesome Southtowne Lanes), which is cool, but nobody’s rapping, so that kind of sucks.
Overall, as this band continues to mature, they’ll be making bigger waves. This record is decent, but they can, and will, do way better.
3 / 5 Stars