Delicate Steve is the creation of Steve Marion. Falling somewhere between an alternate identity and a catch-all band name for the group of touring musicians, Marion has assembled to bring his party-time-shred-fest to the stage. Delicate Steve explodes out into the world plastering smiles across the faces of anyone in their blast radius.
Originally conceived and recorded in Marion’s bedroom, the mostly-instrumental songs are ramshackle celebrations. These aren’t sad-bastard bedroom pop ruminations; this is a bedroom that had a racecar bed in it until they had to make room for the drum kit. There is a love of swirling guitar pyrotechnics that is extremely proficient without ever approaching the ghost pepper-level wankfest of “Eruption” or any of its tabbed-to-death brethren. This has more to do with Marion’s aims to craft joyous, poly-rhythmic jams than his command of hammer-ons and sweeping arpeggios. The shredding is used in service of the songs. This applies to the army of effects employed as well. Pitch-shifted riffs ping-pong across the songs colliding with scrappy early Epcot-era synth sounds that remind us that, once upon a time, the future was going to be a beautiful place to make babies in space.
Marion and the rest of his North Jersey band are part of the prolific Smallboypants Collective known for their steady output of lo-fi psychedelic cassette and vinyl releases. Delicate Steve has now become connected to a wave of groups that splice together all sorts of seemingly disparate elements to create boisterous, uplifting, danceable music. Think about Battles, Ra Ra Riot, and !!! and all the oceans of sweat those guys have generated over the last decade and you’ll have a good feel for what happens when Delicate Steve is unleashed. Less controlled than any of those groups, Delicate Steve crackles with a boyish energy as the songs twist and change with an impish glee. Delicate Steve is the sound of fun firing on all cylinders.