Review: One Step Closer – All You Embrace

The Wilkes-Barre melodic hardcore group's second album utilises old and new ideas effectively and with momentum to break out.

In hardcore circles, One Step Closer are a band that has been bubbling away for a while. 2021’s debut full-length, ‘This Place You Know’, left its mark due to the Pennsylvania group embracing tropes of hardcore’s past with ferocity and lyrical introspectiveness scattered throughout. The early signs of its follow-up, ‘All You Embrace’, have shown all the makings of a band ready to break out.

On the surface, it’s a focused and consistent record that easily treads the blurry line between melodic hardcore and emo. While tracks such as ‘The Gate’ and the grungy ‘Your Hazel Tree’ hint at a band taking their foot off the gas,  previous singles ‘Leap Years’ and ‘Blur My Memory’ show the quartet still have plenty of bite amongst the booming melodies.

Tonally, One Step Closer wears their modern influences with pride with hints of Citizen (see ‘Giant’s Despair’), Title Fight, and The Story So Far (‘Topanga’) popping up throughout. However, they aren’t imitators and have a sonic palette that allows ‘All You Embrace’ to thrive with a vibrant freshness, merely using stylistic nods to the past as leverage. Whether that’s on the soaring shoegaze/alt-rock of ‘Esruc’‘Color You’s brief duel harmonies, or the relentless hardcore energy of ‘Leap Years’.

Furthermore, Ryan Savitski’s ability to deliver a vigorous mix of clean and screams allows him to deliver bold, compelling melodies consistently. It allows tracks such as ‘Giant’s Despair’ (with its rich horns) and ‘Your Hazel Tree’ to excel thanks to their structure and pacing. Early on, ‘Leap Years’, thrives through a mix of urgency and momentarily refrain, leading into one of the album’s biggest choruses.

As a collective and individually, One Step Closer thoroughly holds it down. ‘Orange Leaf’ befits from Tommy Norton’s energetic and textured drums. At the same time, Colman O’Brien and Ross Thompson deliver a mix of chord-heavy guitars with a smattering of melodies throughout.

While One Step Closer doesn’t entirely break new ground on ‘All You Embrace’, it is certainly an addictive record that balances old and new ideas effectively. Threaded by a lyrical narrative of change and adulthood, OSC‘s boisterous hooks are designed to connect and be sung in unison. On top of that, these songs are aided by bold, confident production. This results in a record that probably shouldn’t be as good as it is.  ‘All Your Embrace’ has all the potential to inject One Step Closer with a sh*t tonne of momentum, while supplying the soundtrack for the summer in the process.


‘All You Embrace’ by One Step Closer is out now on Run For Cover Records.

Find One Step Closer on: X (Formerly Twitter) | Instagram | TikTok | Spotify | Apple Music |


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