Overstep - "The Bullring By the Sea"
Anodyne Records

Overstep is one of those bands that have an undefinable quality about them. They're too mellow to be considered a straight "rock" band, but they're a little too angular and rocking to be "indie." These seemingly divergent approaches make them one of those exceptionally rare acts that manage to get me to listen to their album over and over again, simply to try and get ahold of what makes them so enjoyable.

The Bullring By the Sea is one of the best releases to come out of Kansas City in ages. The album is one of those things that makes me happy to live where I do. There are moments that approach Fugazi-like perfection, where every note is played for maximum efficieny. Frankly, it sounds as if Overstep has been listening to every local rock release they could their hands on, distilling each disc down to what makes it great, then taking those elements and using each one to make a sum greater than the whole of its parts.

As you listen to the record, hints of TV Fifty, Kill Creek, and others pop into your ears. There's also that mild country twang that every great KC rock act has had. I don't know what it is about this area, but it seems that the cowtown feel must seep into the music without anyopne being consciously aware of it.

From start to finish, Overstep has crafted a record that far surpasses anything I've heard in years. There have been outstanding recordings in many fields- punk, country, rock, et al- but The Bullring By the Sea manages to rise above any genre definitions and become that great release I've always wanted to hear.