Okay, let’s start with some background. The Brothers Steve is fronted by singers and guitarists Os Tyler and Jeff Whaler, helped out by Steve Coulter on drums, Jeff Solomon (bass), and Dylan Champion (guitar). It’s not the first time we covered some of these dudes on Add To Wantlist. Whaler, Solomon and Coulter played in the band Tsar, whose debut Rob Nesbitt of The Suitesixteen dubbed “a near perfect record” in his Gimme 5 feature. We covered the writing of Steve Coulter (under the pseudonym S.W, Lauden) in a post about the legendary Santa Barbara band Popsicko. The Brothers Steve debuted with in 2019 with #1. Today marks the release of the band’s second album Dose.
Listening to Dose, there is almost nothing to suggest that this is in fact a 2021 record. Rather, the sound of The Brothers Steve harkens back to different golden eras of guitar music, most notably ’70s powerpop and glam, late ’60s psychedelic rock, and bubblegum pop. In less capable hands, Dose could have been a hot mess of false sentimentalism and opportunistic revivalism. The hands (and feet) of The Brothers Steve seem perfectly fine though: Dose is a timeless record if ever. What stands out first is how authentic and well built the record sounds. But the real appreciation, at least for me, starts once you notice how much fun the record is. Sugarfoot and Better Get Ready are smile-inducing bubblegum pop classics in the making with instantly sing-alongable lyrics. Griffith Observatory is layered in harmonies and backing vocals and its chorus should come with a warning sign for risk of addiction. Oh, and don’t overlook the booty shakin’ glamrock’n’roll hits Wizard Of Love and Electro-Love.
In a world of short attention spans looking for the shiny and loud objects, Dose is the kind of record that will easily be overlooked. The qualities of Dose may be too subtle at first. I kindly recommend not giving in to that temptation and giving this a chance. The Brothers Steve will reward you for your patience, I promise.
Dose is out now on CD at Big Stir Records.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp