One Square Mile
One Square Mile
New Music

Breaking down ‘Source of Suffering’, the newest EP from South Bay’s punk rockers ONE SQUARE MILE

2 mins read

One Square Mile’s ‘Source of Suffering’ comes with a narrative composed of raw, unfiltered stories, each track delving into the complex nature of human experiences. The band’s vocalist, Vanessa Kaylor Phillips, offers a candid glimpse into the soul of each song, grounding their music in reality rather than punk rock platitudes.

Since their formation in 2017 in Hermosa Beach—a city with a rich punk heritage encapsulated in its modest one-square-mile area— the band has been on a relentless quest to push the boundaries of punk music while staying true to its roots.

The band’s journey from their debut LP, ‘The System’, to ‘Source of Suffering’ reflects a bold evolution in sound and narrative, skillfully orchestrated by producer Cameron Webb. Their music is a testament to their refusal to be boxed into a single style, mirroring the diverse and dynamic nature of the South Bay’s punk scene.

This year alone, with over 35 shows under their belt, One Square Mile has demonstrated not just their commitment to their craft but also their connection to the community that nurtures them.


In ‘Source of Suffering’, One Square Mile doesn’t just pay homage to the punk legends of Hermosa Beach—they add their own chapter to this ongoing saga, a chapter that reverberates with authenticity and raw, unapologetic energy.

“Dead in the Sun” is a stark portrayal of the overlooked struggles on our streets. Vanessa recounts, “This song is about a guy I saw on Gaffey in San Pedro, trying to score drugs at the bus stop. It’s that critical moment of choice – accept help or continue to the bitter end. The lyrics ‘Dead in the sun, lying in the shade, we step over bodies, they’re begging for our change’ aren’t just words; they’re a reflection of what we see every day.”

The EP then shifts to “Revisions of Truth,” exploring the theme of self-deception. Vanessa explains, “It’s about not recognizing yourself or the life you’re living because it’s so delusional. The line ‘I’ve been in my head for 70 days, you’re never coming around, you’re never going away’ captures that internal battle with reality.”


Remove You” takes a more politically charged turn, drawing parallels between politicians and religious leaders. “It’s about the end of democracy as we know it, the similarity in how these figures seek to control and influence,” Vanessa notes. The song’s chorus, ‘Welcome to the terror dome!’, is a bold statement on power dynamics in society.

One Way” tells a cautionary tale of youthful recklessness. Vanessa shares, “It’s about a young girl thinking she’s ready for the adult world, but not realizing the dangers. The line ‘No time like the present to forget about the past’ quickly turns to ‘the shame, regret, the price you have to pay.'”

Lastly, “Sludge” is a defiant anthem against doubt and negativity. “It’s about aiming for your goals despite naysayers. The question ‘What’s your source of suffering? Perfectionism, your defense mechanism’ challenges the listener to confront their own barriers,” Vanessa reflects.

Each track on ‘Source of Suffering‘ paints a vivid picture, from the streets of San Pedro to the inner workings of the mind. One Square Mile’s approach may not revolutionize punk rock or melodic hardcore, but it certainly adds a layer of authenticity and introspection to the genre.

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