Big Stir Records is thrilled to announce the October 15 release of DOSE, the new album from THE BROTHERS STEVE, on CD and all digital platforms. Featuring the new single and focus track “Next Aquarius”, the record is up for pre-order everywhere including www.bigstirrecords.com and www.bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com now. The keenly-awaited follow up to the LA quintet's acclaimed 2019 debut #1, DOSE offers up 10 new songs which take the band's invigorating punk-pop sound in exciting new directions, folding in elements of psychedelia, glam rock, and even flourishes of chamber pop while retaining all of the energy and charisma that made THE BROTHERS STEVE such an instant favorite on the global pop scene.
Bristling with the trippy energy its title suggests, the new set was written and recorded by frontmen and singer-guitarists OS TYLER and JEFF WHALEN and is fueled by the chemistry of the live band: drummer COULTER (aka author S.W. Lauden) and bassist JEFF SOLOMON (Whalen's longtime bandmates from the beloved LA pop-rock combo TSAR) and guitarist DYLAN CHAMPION. Tracked and mixed at a secret LA recording studio, DOSE simultaneously captures the band's irresistible live energy while pushing their gleeful aesthetic into fascinating new territory.
It's an album of twists and turns and surprises, delights and deception: lead track “Get On Up” opens with an almost lullaby-like acapella harmony passage before exploding into a boisterous, supercharged call to arms for creatures of the night. The closing “Better Get Ready To Go” is cut from the same glam-anthemic cloth, taking unbridled joy in exhorting the listener to “get it on, squeaky Kong,” and “Just put Geppetto to the meadow and let’s get out of here,” it's emblematic of a record that revels unironically in the fundamental absurdity of rock and roll. “We're saying things that may seem to make no sense at all, but we're sincerely convinced of them!” enthuses Whalen.
Playful surrealism and quirky character sketches give the record its shape. Take the Zombies-inflected “Mrs. Rosenbaum” (she's definitely dead, and maybe a witch), the bubblegum sweetness of “Sugarfoot” (nominally inspired by the frontman of The Ohio Players, of all bands), and the exhilarating boogie “Wizard of Love” (he makes you feel like you're the passionate one). “It’s heady like a bolt from above” goes one line, and so is much of DOSE, including the driving, post-punky celebration of “Electro-Love” and the ridiculously catchy single “Next Aquarius”: it's equal parts psychedelic shimmer, punk-rock sneer and pure pop perfection.
There's mystery in the grooves, too, and that's where the new record adds texture to the winning formula of #1. The urgent “Griffith Observatory” has all the charge of the best tracks on the debut, overlaid with a layer of old Hollywood intrigue (it's inspired by the Barbara Streisand A Star Is Born among other influences, Whalen discloses). There's the fascinating “She Will Wait,” wherein Tyler and Whalen tell two sides of the tale at the same time, with tender interlocking counterpart harmonies; the “she” of the title may or may not be time itself.
Perhaps most evocative of all is the soaring “Love Of Kings” with its impassioned fairy tale imagery... although Tyler specifies that the narrative takes place 122 years in the future. “There's a collective mythology here, maybe a sort of future-retro-neo-noir thing” says Tyler, “but it's fundamentally about sonic delight, a luxurious soundscape.” Whalen adds that the songs “evoke like an MF... like a T-Rex song, the imagery might mean different things to different people, but you can tell how excited we are about making the listener feel it along with us.”
Ultimately it's the hooks, harmonies and instrumental interplay that make DOSE such an intoxicating experience. There's a leap forward in sophistication and nuance, but the album is just as much of a giddy ride as #1 and just as likely to top year-end “Best Album” lists and indie radio charts worldwide. DOSE is in fact just what the doctor ordered for a world awash in pandemic-era bedroom recordings: a real band firing at the height of their considerable powers, charting new ground and having palpable fun doing it.
THE BROTHERS STEVE made a promise with their debut: “We Got The Hits.” Here are ten more of them.