Summer's here. Get those pathetic, pale-skinned, pencil-thin pins back out into the wilderness. Get your mountain bike serviced and then leave it in the garage until next September. Get off the computer, miss deadlines, lose money, ignore blocked numbers/creditors. Get outside, chase your dog when it escapes the confines of the leash-free park. Cry when it narrowly misses getting crushed by a Holden Barina. Young lass was a little slow on the brakes. Forgiven though, it's summer. High celsius measurements are distracting entities that slow down our movements dramatically. And her stereo is most likely playing harmless, carefree, sing-a-long hits from that new Palms record.
On it's most primitive level, Step Brothers is instinctually connected to the warmer months. There's no hazy glow, there's a notable absence of lyrics about drowning troubles in unfenced backyard swimming pools and almost no references at all to mojitos. Instead, it's seasonal connection is based around it's completely unforced tone. Hooks effortlessly cuddle up to your memory glands as Al "Former Red Rider" Griggs nonchalantly leaks out lines about water gliding off duck's backs, putting everything off until tomorrow and discarding all intended plans. Perfect. Winter is for worries. Summer is for ignoring commitments.
But, of course, amidst all this noncommittal freedom there's a darker edge. "I'm wondering if I can get it right" ponders Griggs on the tender opening track, In The Morning, draping the perfunctory acoustic flow with an irrefutable sense of insecurity. These introspective glances, perfectly contradictory to the outwardly-aimed catchiness, reveal themselves throughout the record, popping up frequently from under the dominate pop coating. Infectious hit and clear contender for Best Sydney Song Of The Decade, This Last Year, best navigates this balance, matching every momentum-gathering pop burst with a mix of gritted-teeth determination and self-depreciating fuck-the-world gusto.
At just 33 minutes, Step Brothers suffers greatly from undernourishment, feeling like it's over before it's even begun. A fact amplified greatly by album low-point, sputtering ballad, Far Gone, that closes out the release. But, if working out how to operate the "continuous play forever" function on your audio device is the hardest task you have to master, then you've got it pretty good. And you're probably in the ideal setting for this record.