Thanks to their whimsical DJ sets, the Pender Street Steppers have become ambassadors for Vancouver's house scene despite only releasing a handful of records (plus the Life In The Zone tape that most of them were sourced from). They haven't released anything in the last two years, so their self-titled EP hits like a storm after a drought, showcasing everything Liam Butler and Jack Jutson have to offer with five reassuring slow jams.
"Raining Again" (almost a clichéd title for a Mood Hut track at this point) has all the goodies we've come to expect from Pender Street Steppers. There's a boogie bassline, pitter-patter drums and a sunny guitar that recalls the swampy Disco Mantras album. "Molto Bene," a fan favourite that's been floating around for a while, has a carefree whistling lead and a rhythm section that sounds like it's out for an afternoon stroll.
Two of the tracks, "Blackboard" and "No Need," hint at the duo's origins in the Vancouver indie rock band No Gold. The former's brash lashes of post-punk guitar and gremlin vocal sample are especially silly, albeit funky. That leaves "Mirror (Dub)," a tasty morsel that explores the dub influence that runs through the Steppers' sound in a new way. Drums echo and wah-wah melodies sneak in and out while chords hang thick in the air, a transition from house to skank that feels as comfortable as everything else Jutson and Butler do.
TracklistA1 Raining Again
A2 Mirror (Dub)
A3 Molto Bene
B2 No Need