Straight on View – Gotta Step Up – review

According to the current state of humanity’s knowledge on quantum physics, time travel is not possible (although time dilation is, but you don’t want me to get that nerdy). On the other hand, the history of science has showed us multiple times that with the increased knowledge, sometimes things seen as completely impossible turn out differently. With that in mind, I’m pretty sure that the Philadelphian quintet might soon receive a Nobel Prize for first fully documented case of going forty years against the clock.

But jokes asides – when I’ve heard “Gotta Step Up” for the first time, I had a hard time believing that this EP is something that recent. Straight on View mixes the biggest classics of US hardcore punk and maintains to keep both the quality and the sound of the recordings released in the early 80’s. Entire music sounds like a smart blend of Black Flag, Minor Threat and the earliest D.R.I. stuff with a little spice of Suicidal Tendencie’s debut. Short, straight to the point songs, noisy guitars, fast tupa-tupa drumming and singer screaming the hell out of his throat.

Ironically, while this material is a tribute to years long gone, Straight on View still manages to sound refreshing (and more importantly – they are able to do that without adding any other influences to their blend). There is pretty smart and dedicated songwriting hidden behind this wall of sound. Of course, I don’t mean that they are going progressive or anything like that, but after couple of listens I know that no riff was created by an accident.

The lyrics remind me a lot of American hardcore classics – touching both on positivity and anger issues. And they are really good written which definitely adds to the experience. I wouldn’t call them anything extraordinary, but they definitely fit the music and the overall vibe of the release.  Fair enough, those topics are important as well and often fall under the radar in a genre completely dominated by political and social issues. 

I’ve always loved US hardcore punk classics, and this band delivers to the highest standards. What’s more important, they still manage to do that without sounding like yet another cheap retrospective. It’s honest, fast, aggressive and if “Gotta Step Up” was released couple of decades earlier it would have been a worldwide punk classic without any doubts. Jim, Chris, Matt, Collin and Eliot – well done! Just keep doing what you do in the same way.