The Stepkids – The Stepkids (S/T) The Stepkids – The Stepkids (S/T)

The Stepkids - The Stepkids

It has been awhile since I could properly trip out to electric funk and multicolored energy waves. The Stepkids could have just been another indie band to have come and then disappear into obscurity. The band’s recent and steady climb into the spotlight included tours with Mates Of State with promising and ultimate conclusions. Additionally, the band has had bizarre connections to not only reggae rock outfit Vox but with Jeff Gitelman formally acting as background guitarist for Alicia Keyes. All of this information along with the innocuous name is leading up to the biggest “yeah fucking right” moment of 2011. Once the walls stop melting, I’ll be free to share in your dismissal based on facts. The Stepkids self titled debut is nothing less than a stellar entrance from a well mixed psychedelic soft rock outfit that has me literally stuck between a dance, a giggle and a stumble.

Psychedelic soft rock maybe a little too simple. A more appropriate genre would be souled-out glam funk which sparkles like Technicolor diamonds. The same amazing androgynous spaceship spirit which fueled T. Rex, David bowie and Parliament Funkadelic lives on, in dormant form, within The Stepkids. From the opening chords of “Brain Ninja” to the last stardust strewn of “Cup Half Full,” the Stepkids shine as contemporary harbingers of slight mind altering psychedlia. This fact may not be as apparent the first time around. It takes awhile to warm up to the furcoat bathed in lavalamp light exuded on this record. I know little of what is going on but all I know, its damn sexy.

If one was to plot out the majority of styles for this record, funk, soul and 70’s R&B would be the largest followed by a supporting glam rock section. To be successfully psychedelic, one does not have to be loud, noisy or even weird. The way in which Stepkids reach this psychedelia is by successfully mixing 40 years of popular music into a smooth echoey blend of pop which slightly leaves trails in its wake. Caught somewhere between the light AM sounds of the Clientele and the transcendental footsteps of Apes and Androids lies one of the better surprises of 2011

There is confidence in the Stepkids debut. For songs like “Santos and Ken” and “Suburban Dream,” a band must be confident in the fact they can mimic the great soul singers of the 60’s and 70’s with enough homage as creative license will allow. Besides the subtle instrument effects, bong ripping light show for live concerts and overall atmosphere, the production for the record is gorgeous bordering on perfect. All this from a band I would have dismissed before cracking the shrink wrap. Colored me convinced. With my sparkly spacesuit, I’m ready to make this voyage.

1. Intro
2. Brain Ninja
3. Suburban Dream
4. Shadows On Behalf
5. Legend In My Own Mind
6. Santos & Ken
7. La La
8. Wonderfox
9. Cup Half Full
10. Outro

The Stepkids - The Stepkids (S/T), reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-09-26T10:59:02-07:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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