Over It

Step Outside Yourself

Written by: PP on 05/09/2006 18:18:07

What happened between "Timing Is Everything" and "Silverstrand" was a question in many Over It fans' minds around the release of the much criticized sophomore album of the once so energetic, youthful pop punk band loved by everyone still obsessed with the late 90s raw pop punk movement. The sound was much more mature, and though the punk roots were still slightly visible, the ties seemed to have loosened radically and the band's album flopped in the underground community. Two years later, as the release of "Step Outside Yourself" is imminent, it suddenly becomes clear that Over It have just matured from the speedy pop punk era, and turned into a mainstream ballad-band a la Mainstream Romance (Matchbook Romance for the slow ones).

The speed has been halved (again), and the once-so cheerful, innocent lyrics and choruses have been replaced with oddly pessimistic and obvious ones, forcing the thought 'is this written with the purpose of making it big on the radio instead of for the love of the music' to come to mind. However, there are a few songs where the past appeal of the band can be heard, like the catchy "Siren On The 101" where the drum-rhythm ALMOST resembles a pop punk band, although it never quite reaches there.

The album is filled with similar anthems with simple chords and huge choruses, which is perfectly okay as bands like Mxpx demonstrates on their newest album "Panic!", but when the songs sound this much alike ("Dishonor, Disorder", featuring Mike Herrera of Mxpx, sounds frightfully much like "Siren On The 101") the band isn't left with much leverage to the increasing amount of critics to the band.

By themselves, however, the songs aren't that bad. In fact, some of them are great. In the short term at least. The underlying problem is, though, that they pale in comparison with their earlier material. However, they lack staying power, which is a direct result of the simplicity, lack of pace and 'mainstreamness' their new sound consists of. To any punk fan, "Step Outside Yourself" is a definite disappointment, but those who enjoy the newer works of bands like Yellowcard will find this in the upper end of releases in the genre (not to even mention that Sean Mackin of Yellowcard features in "The Energy"). If "Silverstrand" was a waypoint, then "Step Outside Yourself" is the final destination, and strictly artistically speaking, is probably their best album. But sometimes that just doesn't do it.

Download: "The Siren On 101", "Dishonor, Disbelief"
For the fans of: new Yellowcard, Good Charlotte
Listen: Purevolume, Myspace

Release date 29.08.2006
Virgin Records

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