Regina’s Pagliacci, Steve, makes his triumphant return this week as front man of beloved Regina Sad Garage band the Steves. Flanked by band mates Steve, Steve, and Steve, as well as guest artist Steve, the Steves have once again released a pair of tracks that push the level of what we can expect from a bunch of Steves.
Tough Year/Dim Sum is a powerful one-two punch that will provoke a broad spectrum of emotion from you all at once. It’s funny enough to force a smile and sad enough to bum you the fuck out. The collision of those feelings is where these songs, and perhaps the Steves in general, survive and thrive. The quartet is an emotional and sonic force to be reckoned with, and Tough Year/Dim Sum represent a marked development in songwriting, arrangement, and production that further cements the Steves as one of Canada’s best bands.
Tough Year is a punchy punk jam with background vocals that will be glued to the inside of your skull for days. With a Steves-classic jagged anthem chorus and verses that drive relentlessly below woeful lyrics, Tough Year is a path to catharsis. Next time you find yourself blaming a year for something ultimately mundane but seemingly more significant than usual because of its portrayal in social media, pump this track instead and think about all the things that are actually wrong in your life. Maybe you’ll find peace.
Dim Sum is a hilariously heartbreaking ode to Steve’s other half. Dim Sum is all about sharing, but Steve is alone. It’s a beautiful sonic panorama of a heartbreaking moment in time rendered with Nighthawks-style nostalgia. The plaintive cry of Steve is mirrored in the thrum of march-like snare drum rolls from Steve and the wash of trumpet collage by guest musician Steve. Not without its edges, the creaks and clicks of guitar strings guide transitions from the edge of the stereo field, showing echos of anger behind the sadness. Steve is complex. This track in particular shows significant development in textural work and creative vision from the band, and is surely a sign of things to come.
Please enjoy these tracks in situations where it’d be inappropriate to fully display your emotions. If that’s not possible, try to check them out on one of the tour dates below. Do it for Steve.
by Dana Rempel
April 26 – Saskatoon, SK – Amigos
April 27 – Regina, SK – German Club
April 28 – Winnipeg, MB – X-Cues
April 29 – Kenora, ON – Secret Show
April 30 – Thunderbay, ON – The Apollo
May 1 – Sudbury, ON – Asylum
May 2 – Sault St. Marie, ON – Loplops
May 3 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
May 4 – London, ON – EVAC
May 5 – Windsor, ON – Phog Lounge
May 8 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
May 9 – Ottawa, ON – Avant-Garde
May 10 – Peterborough, ON – The Garnet
May 11 – Montreal, QC – Brasserie Beaubiene
May 12 – Montreal, QC – Barfly