For a band whose catalog is just beginning, Son Step already has a firm understanding of their sound. Appropriately describing their band as folk, garage, and soul, the quartet reveals a debut EP which truly touches upon each. Spooky Tooth is a gradual unfolding of intricacy, with the Philadelphia-based act capturing in recorded form the experimental spirit that drives their live performances.
Spooky Tooth had the potential to become just another EP found on Bandcamp, but it finds an edge of innovation in the group’s doubling of vocals and drums. Vocalists Jon Coyle and Pat Lamborn share the spotlight, their husky whispers layering in quick vocal trade-offs. While the switch is discernible, it acts more as a slight compliment of mystery, breathing new life into the tracks with each occurrence.
All of the band’s fragmented elements work harmoniously on opener “Forks”. The staggering bass finds a suited compliment in drums, slightly breaking from each other for moments of lulled discordance. Son Step delivers on their promised sounds with jazzy brushes of drums (“Movin Slowly”) and haunting harmonies met with warring vocals in moments of lyrical variance (“Sleep”). Though much of the EP’s venture in experimental is a payoff, the a cappella title track “Spooky Tooth” proves otherwise. A boring misstep on an EP of intrigue, the vocals are slowed down, their secrets exaggerated but also lost in a slow-moving track that needed a boost of excitement from their instrumental work.
Son Step’s willingness to forgo the ordinary and bring their own twist to previously created genres shows all the potential for an interesting career. With the group’s continuance, follow-ups will only benefit from taking the same rewarding risks.
Essential Tracks: “Forks” and “Sleep”