Review: Stepping Stone Vol. 1

Various Artists
“Stepping Stone Vol. 1: The Best Bands you have Never Heard”
(The Militia Group)

The idea behind this compilation is great. Take 15 unsigned bands, put one of their songs on a CD, sell it for a low price and hope new listeners boost the bands fan base. To give each band equal time they are listed and defined so you can make a decision before dropping any dough on anything.

1.  Tokyo Rose, “Right Through your Teeth” – Sounds like Homegrown who sounds like Simple Plan who sounds like NFG who sounds like Blink-182 who sounds like new Unwritten Law who sounds like Dashboard Confessionals who sounds like every other “punk” band on MTV.

2.  Copeland, “May I have this Dance” – Nice summer rock. Good for high school proms and making out right after sunset on the beach. A little indie and a little Supersonic.

3.  Beeve Oliver, “Summer” – Straight indie rock with hints of Jealous Sound and Samiam. Worth the listen.

4.  In Clover, “And it Kills Me” – Cut off the first 40 seconds of this song and it is golden. Sounds like Ben Gibbard had a hand in this. Be careful though, this could be a front for a band like track one. But as of this one track In Clover is in like Flynn.

5.  Nothing to Lose, “If Dreams were Real” – See track one or don’t bother and move on.

6.  Elevator Division, “Studio Audience” – This is the diamond of the CD so far. A little like The Velvet Teen. The singer sounds a little shy, but his voice carries and makes you feel like he is telling you a secret you shouldn’t know.

7.  Acceptance, “Seeing is Believing” – Whoa, it’s Green Day. Until the vocal comes in and then you realize it’s not and you wish it was. When did Dishwalla come back? Acceptance has a about 20 seconds of great guitars on “Seeing is Believing,” but the rest is just counting blue cars.

8.  Watashi Wa, “The Fleeting” – See track five or don’t bother and move on.

9.  Die Radio Die, “New England Sunrise” – The title shows promise, the guitar sounds like American Football and the singer wants to be Elliott Smith. Not a bad mix and definitely worth a deeper look.

10.  Mico, “Bad Idea” – Nico should kick this bands ass for rhyming with her name. It was a bad idea to write this song. For further description please see track 8 or don’t bother and move on.

11.  Much the Same, “One of a Kind” – Where is the factory churning out bands that sound the same? Drop a bomb on it and lets get on with our musical lives. For further description see track 10 or don’t bother and move on.

12.  The Cassettes, “How can it be so Sad” – I can be sad because a good band name was wasted on these guys. In boycott of The Cassettes I am only listening to CDs from this point on. I’ll have to live without my Vital Idol tape, but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

13.  Slow Coming Day, ” A Part of me Died” – I had a slow coming day once. I tried and tried and it seriously took around three hours before I finally came. For further description see track 11 or don’t bother and move on.

14.  The Reaction, “Horror on Highway 93” – The red headed step child of the CD.  A little like Anti-Flag attending a White House dinner.

15.  Diary, “Madeline” – The chorus of “Madeline” is almost good, but don’t
look for much more than a repeat of track 13’s description.