Doug Allen – Steven Out West

Doug Allen
Steven Out West

Now this is a neat idea. Doug Allen has drawn a 16-page book describing the misadventures of mischievous little Steven and released it along with a 7″ record that provides a read-along, if you will, for the book. Play the record, which acts out with quite a bit of enthusiasm, the animated story of mean little Steven. I have to admit, the sound effects and voices are pretty good. And I’m just thankful that Steven didn’t burn the kitty.
On the other side of the 7″ are two songs recorded by Doug Allen in his bedroom. Both continue the “out-west” theme from the story. “Steven (A Mighty Bad Boy)” has a very lo-fi rock-a-billy kind of sound. No, it’s not especially professional, but it’s pretty catchy, and the lyrics about Steven’s misadventures are pretty funny. Better is the “Steven Out West Theme,” which could have come right from a Spaghetti Western. It’s got all the moody, western feel to it, except for the explosions half-way through. Don’t have the stereo up too loud.
Vital Cog Records is really doing some different and exciting things. You don’t always just get a few songs with a 7″ from this label. In fact, they have a Super Heroes of Rock Team-Up split 7″ series that includes indie bands and intricately drawn comics. Steven Out West is a good example of how much fun this kind of thing can be. On this one, the songs may not be the immediate draw, but Doug Allen’s comics are cute and disturbing, and who can ask for more?