THE BROTHERS STEVE (Los Angeles, CA)
THE BROTHERS STEVE is a rock band from Los Angeles, California. Their energetic pop sound combines elements of British Invasion, indie rock and power pop. And two scant years after their debut album #1, they're back with DOSE -- a new album that's every bit as beguiling and an even headier stew of pop-punk, psychedelia, glam and bubblegum. It's out October 15, heralded by the lead track and trippy video "Next Aquarius"... a sure sign that the new record is a next-level sonic delight that will beguile fans worldwide once again.
Back in 2019 -- forever ago, it now seems! -- the Brothers emerged seemingly out of nowhere – or from the ashes of LA guitar pop legends TSAR, depending on whom you ask – with their audaciously titled album #1, which was audaciously issued on vinyl and CD only. The record was rapturously received, adorned many a critic's Best of 2019 list, and was accompanied by a handful of triumphant local live appearances and a pair of singles counted by Big Stir Records as jewels in the crown of our Digital Singles Series: "Angeline and Carolanne" and the exclusive holiday release "Christmas Magic!" Meanwhile #1 remained otherwise a physical-only release while its deep well of crunchy instant pop classics ("She", "Good Deal Of Love", "Carry Me" and more) splattered themselves across the airwaves from the US to the UK and Spain and beyond until being digitally issued in conjunction with the band's arrival on the BSR roster in 2020.
Although #1 is the debut album for TBS, their roots run back back to when members JEFF WHALEN (vocals and guitar), OS TYLER (vocals), DYLAN CHAMPION (guitar, vocals), STEVE COULTER (drums) and JEFF SOLOMON (bass) met as students at UC Santa Barbara. Whalen, Coulter and Solomon would go on to form Tsar and cut an impressive swath through the LA pop scene in the early part of this century. Recently Whalen's solo record 10 More Rock Super Hits! demonstrated his undiminished songwriting and vocal magic and Coulter, under the pen name S.W. Lauden, has emerged as a writer of both fiction and music history, with the co-editing of last year's GO ALL THE WAY: A LITERARY APPRECIATION OF POWER POP among his credits (and both also moonlight in The GoAllTheWays, the punk-goes-pop side project that accompanied the book).
The Brothers Steve, though, are most certainly their own animal, with that bubblegum sound and Monkees fixation at the forefront and an unparalleled energy in its delivery. Big Stir Records is thrilled to be presenting the latest stage in their evolution... DOSE.
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.
The Brothers Steve
BIG STIR RECORDS is thrilled to announce the first-ever full digital release of last year's debut album #1 from THE BROTHERS STEVE, accompanied by a new CD edition and the original blue vinyl LP available for the first time on both sides of the Atlantic at non-import shipping prices. The new versions of one of 2019's most celebrated guitar-pop records are out July 17 and available for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.com/store now. This news means that whether you missed it last year or only heard part of the story, #1 is – once again – the perfect record for any summer, bursting with bubblegum hooks, driving guitars, and instantly indelible tunes.
When The Brothers Steve appeared almost literally out of nowhere last year, the audacity of titling their first release #1 was matched only by its availability exclusively as physical media, with only a handful of tracks (including the Big Stir Records double-A-side single “Angeline and Carolanne”) available to download or stream. The band – comprised of ex-members of LA guitar pop legends TSAR (vocalist/guitarist JEFF WHALEN, drummer STEVE COULTER, bassist JEFF SOLOMON) and their former bandmates from their UC Santa Barbara days OS TYLER (vocals) and DYLAN CHAMPION (guitar, vocals) -- made a hell of a noise anyway. The song title “We Got The Hits” seems apt: even the tracks only available on the LP and CD charted on indie playlists worldwide, live audiences in LA became instant devotees, and critics everywhere raided their surprise supplies of superlatives.
“The band hits each tune outta the park... Without a doubt, it belongs on my top ten list for power pop albums of 2019. Super highly recommended,” enthused Power Popaholic, while John Borack of Goldmine Magazine cut to the chase: “Holy lord, is this ever a fab record... Album of the year, anyone?” Poprock Record called it “a concentrated dose of pop-rock goodness. This baby is all killer, no filler, beginning to end. Look for this on my top album list this year, a ‘you-can’t-go-wrong’ album recommendation.. Longtime Tsar devotee Don Valentine of the UK's I Don't Hear A Single hailed it as “the best thing that I've heard this year. It's Sunshine Pop of the very highest order. #1 is the shot in the arm that Guitar Pop needed so badly. ”
That shot in the arm came as a surprise in 2019 partly because Whalen was already riding high on the success of his solo album 10 More Super Rock Hits, and Coulter (under the pen name S.W. Lauden) was writing fiction and the music-lit that led to his co-editing of the book Go All The Way: A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop (which would in turn spawn the punk-goes-pop super-side-group The GoAllTheWays featuring the likes of himself, Rex Broome of The Armoires, and, yes, again, Whalen). But amidst all that activity and excitement, The Brothers Steve remain front and center, more than ever. TBS belted out not one but two magical Christmas originals for Big Stir at the tail end of 2019, and even in the pandemic era, new recordings are underway. The new digital relaunch heralds not only first-time focus on previously physical-only tracks like the deliriously catchy new single “Carry Me”, but the band's first tune cut for BSR, the exclusive B-side “Lunky Do,” as well.
TBS have got the hits indeed, and it is with a “Good Deal of Love” – and pride – that Big Stir Records adds this digital debut and physical media relaunch to a vibrant and diverse 2020 release slate on the heels of successful records from Northern California's The Corner Laughers and Canterbury, England's Spygenius, with much more on deck even in these strangest of times. Whether #1 is new to your ears or a reminder of the rush of a summer past, it's always worthy of another spin, and the best part is: there's more to come from THE BROTHERS STEVE.
For more on The Brothers Steve, visit: www.thebrotherssteve.com
For more from Big Stir Records, see: www.bigstirrecords.com
Carry Me (Big Stir Digital Single No. 81)
The Brothers Steve
Having just announced the first-ever full digital release of THE BROTHERS STEVE's debut album #1 (due July 17 and accompanied by a new CD edition and the classic blue vinyl LP), BIG STIR RECORDS is thrilled to complement the news with a new TBS Single: a fresh mix of “Carry Me”, b/w the exclusive and never-before-heard “Lunky Do”! Both sides are out Friday, July 10 and available for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.com/big-stir-digital-singles now!
“Carry Me”, previously only available on the 2019 physical editions of #1, remains the best slab of biting bubblegum pop ever to namedrop the Beaver Brown Band while chiming and charming its way into your heart. According to TBS singer-guitarist (and former TSAR main man) JEFF WHALEN, “the new mix is hardly different at all, but it's way better!” The B-side “Lunky Do” has been specially recorded for this release and is part of the ongoing new sessions for the Brothers, who are hard at work on a few super-secret cover songs for star-studded tribute records yet to be announced, all pointing to the promise of album #2, whether it's to be called that or not.
Whalen is joined by the full band, co-vocalist OS TYLER, guitarist-vocalist DYLAN CHAMPION, and former Tsar collaborators, bassist JEFF SOLOMON and drummer STEVE COULTER (also of The GoAllTheWays, alongside Whalen and Rex Broome of The Armoires). It's a real renaissance for Team TBS these days: Coulter, under the pen name S.W. Lauden, has just published the second installment of his Power Pop Heist crime fiction novella series, Good Girls Don't, and Whalen's busy 2019 included not just #1 and the GATWs single but his own celebrated solo album TEN MORE SUPER ROCK HITS. It's enough momentum that we at Big Stir can't wait to hear what THE BROTHERS STEVE do next, and we're equally eager to bring it to you!
Angeline and Carolanne (Big Stir Digital Single No. 32)
The Brothers Steve
The latest BIG STIR DIGITAL single comes to us from THE BROTHERS STEVE. At once completely new to the LA pop scene and a reboot of a legendary band that prefigured the much-missed TSAR and encompasses much of that celebrated group's lineup (including JEFF WHALEN whose acclaimed 2018 release 10 MORE ROCK SUPER HITS showed him still on top of his game), the group remains otherwise shrouded in mystery. The uniquely titled Angeline and Carolanne single -- the A-side and B-side just sound too good together to name it after just one tune – is out Friday, June 28, and up for pre-order now!
All else that can be currently revealed about THE BROTHERS STEVE can be gleaned from the attached document.
The Brothers Steve
It's that time of year again, and Big Stir is here with a holiday surprise: a brand new exclusive Christmas double A-side single from THE BROTHERS STEVE! Worthy of a title of its own, Christmas Magic! is out on – yep – Black Friday, November 29 and is available for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.com/big-stir-digital-singles now... and it wraps up not one but two totally new tunes from TBS, “I Love The Christmastime” and “Listen Up! It's Christmastime” in one heartwarming package. Let's let the Bros themselves explain:
“And! Tidings of great joy! Christmas will be magic again! Just in time for the holidays, The Brothers Steve explode with a double-barrel yule log of Christmas cheer and seasonal mirth with two instant holiday classics--'I Love the Christmastime' and 'Listen Up! It's Christmastime'. A pair of ear candy cane from us to you this holiday season.”
In case you somehow missed the sudden appearance of THE BROTHERS STEVE and their deserved dominance of the pop rock scene in 2019, here's a quick recap: singer-guitarist Jeff Whalen (fresh off his rapturously-received 2018 solo album 10 More Rock Super Hits) reconvened with drummer Steve Coulter and bassist Jeff Solomon, his bandmates from the beloved and much-missed TSAR, brought in the enigmatic Os Tyler (vocals) and Dylan Champion (guitar), and TBS was born. The new band burst onto the scene with a digital single on Big Stir Records followed by their initially vinyl-only debut album #1. The album's audacious mix of rock energy and bubblegum hooks took the pop world by storm.
By the time #1 was issued on CD by Supermegabot later in the year, TBS had already racked up a fistful of rave reviews (having preemptive Album of the Year honors bestowed upon by more than one noted journalist) as well as airplay and prominent chart placements on a number of respected indie radio outlets. Suddenly they were everywhere: the band debuted their dazzling live act at a pair of explosive LA gigs, the members were in print with essays from Whalen, Champion and Coulter providing highlights in the new book Go All The Way: A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop (co-edited by Coulter, no less), while Coulter and Whalen somehow found time to form a side group, The GoAllTheWays (also including Rex Broome of The Armoires) in conjunction with the book's publication, notching up another best-selling Big Stir Digital Single in the process.
This special holiday release wraps up The Brothers Steves' flurry of 2019 activity in appropriately festive style (and kicks of a three-week run of seasonal singles releases for BSR). We're sure these are modern classics you'll be returning to for years to come! See www.thebrotherssteve.com for more about the band and keep checking back on the Big Stir Singles Series for more seasonal cheer throughout the holiday season... and thank you, friends!