A three piece hailing from America, The Step Kids are very much influenced by the past. One need only to look at the bodies of work of Parliament/Funkadelic and Sly & The Family Stone to know immediately where the band is coming from. On their debut long player, the loudly and proudly wear their influences on their sleeves. Ultimately, this can be somewhat of a blessing and a curse.

Kicking off with an “Intro” to the rest of the album can be self-conscious and somwhat pretentious. Unfortunately, that is the case here, which immediately puts the listener off on the wrong foot. Starting proper with “Brain Ninja”, the album basically does what has been done before by the aforementioned influences that The Step Kids are so obviously in thrall of. The band obviously love what has inspired them to the point where they are yet to form a musical sense of identity of their own.

Tracks such as “Legend In My Own Mind”, “Wonderful” and “La La” feature many moments and sounds that have been heard before, and done with more style and class. The Step Kids try to give it their own spin and attitude but, many times, come off sounding like a photocopy than a proper band.

The Step Kids definitely show a sense of promise on this debut album, and it is nice to see a band coming from somewhere else than the almost standard grunge/early metal/Jeff Buckley points of reference that too many artists rely on these days. It’s just a shame that they didn’t take it somewhere more interesting. However, all bands must start somewhere. Only the future will tell what becomes of The Step Kids.

– Neil Evans