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The Santiago Steps - A-Flutter (dorcal-monster)

Then from out of nowhere you get a band like The Santiago Steps. I love when something like this sneaks up on you. You spend hours rooting around in your CD collection looking for something to play, while you spend a sunny day sitting in the back-yard with your friends (well we have been getting a few nice sunny days lately) then this shows up on your doorstep and fits the bill perfectly. Formed out of the remains of the terribly named Bigsaver, most of this debut was recorded through the spring/summer of 2001 and it does have a very summery feel about it.

'I'm in love w/a girl' is all airy and dreamy. Real float away music. Even the trumpets sound good and I generally hate brass in songs. Next track, 'The frisbee slide' knocks the tempo up a notch or two, with its mixed vocals, complex, fleeting drumming and gentle, arpeggio guitars. Reminds me of an early Ash, but I don't know why because it doesn't really sound like anything Ash have done. Maybe it's the guitar solo.

"The nu-metal Gods/drive big trucks/and the girls with hot butts/can have the guys with big bucks" are the wonderful opening lines to the soft-spoken, sadly sung, 'Nerd rock girl'. A love song, sung by Carolyn Davidson, about the quiet girl who likes nerd rock, most likely a Wheatus fan, for the boy she loves. Sweet and touching in its innocence. The sort of song all teenage rejects should listen to.

Somehow I can't figure out how this album works or why I like it. I generally hate stuff like this. There's no big production, no raging guitars, no angst. It's just pure emotion the whole way through but I suppose you need that every now and then. This is good. It doesn't rock but it's still good.

Ken McGrath

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