June 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
Steel Train’s new, self-titled album is streaming at their website right now. I love it. You should too. I posted ‘Turnpike Ghost’ quite a while back, it’s still one of my favourite tracks and sounds fresh on the album despite the fact that I have listened to it probably around 20(0) times. Another favourite is ‘You and I Undercover’ which perfectly highlights Steel Train’s ability to write highly effective love songs without being sappy in the slightest.
My favourite thing about Steel Train has always been their energy; the level of fun and emotion found in their music. This record is no exception. Listen now.
Along with the new record, the band are releasing Terrible Thrills Vol. 1, which is the entire album covered by female artists. The artists include Tegan & Sara, Amanda Palmer, Rachael Cantu and Holly Miranda. Basically my dream album. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson. Ha kidding, she has a good voice. Alia Shawkat is even on there!! (She’s Maeby from Arrested Development, remember? Apparently she can sing too).
I think it’s a fantastic idea and I can’t wait to hear the full thing. For now, you can hear Tegan & Sara’s cover of ‘Turnpike Ghost’, which premiered over on Stereogum today (you can also download the original song if you don’t have it already). Tegan & Sara’s cover was made with Andre Allen Anjos of RAC, and the result is bloody amazing. What with it being my all time favourite duo covering my favourite ST song there may be a little bias involved. Listen for yourselves and see what you think.
March 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Like most Steel Train songs, this one is filled with energy and vibrance. It’s short and sweet at just 2:45 but from the skipping intro to the thumping drums and lyrics telling you “you don’t have to live like that!”, this is Steel Train doing what Steel Train do best – making great upbeat music.
Lead singer Jack Antonoff told Spin the song was inspired by the Propaghandi lyric ‘When you jump ship, you can either swim to shore or drown.’ The song, and apparently the whole of Steel Train’s new album (as of yet unnamed and without a release date), take their inspiration from this notion, and are about “Getting the fuck out of bed with your mind open to the world around you. No bitterness.” Sounds good to me.
January 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
Steel Train are another band who I had never heard of until recently. Then it became one of those situations where they were mentioned in several places in short succession. Fate!! Or at least that’s how I like to think of it, the great powers that be instructing me that I need to listen to this band. Anyway, however I came to hear them..I am grateful. As of today I have only listened to a handful of tracks but I know that as I delve further into their back catalogue I will become a bigger fan.
Applying labels to bands is never something that I have been good at (or enjoyed) and trying to apply a genre to Steel Train is not easily done. Whilst the band themselves may use the ‘rock’ tag, their songs lean more towards the ‘pop-rock’ genre. They even have a place in the emo/pop-punk scene, mainly due to their involvement with Drive-Thru Records (a relationship that came to an end in August 2009). Having said all that, I feel happy to go ahead and place the ‘fun’ label all over them – no pun intended (member Jack Antonoff is also a member of the band fun.). Tracks like ‘I Feel Weird’ and ‘Firecracker’ will simply make you feel great. Good melodies, good rhythms, and generally just good music. For me this is all heightened by the fact that they have garnered a reputation as being an awesome live band. Pretty Much Amazing (a blog which I read religiously) reviewed their recent gig at Maxwell’s in Hoboken (in their home state of New Jersey), saying that “every song is a stunner at a Steel Train concert”, and that the band put on “about as good of a concert as I’ve ever seen” (read the full review here). It seems that anyone who has been to a Steel Train gig says the same thing: it’s not just the songs, but the band’s attitude and the atmosphere that they create that makes them so great. They truly have fun at their shows and thoroughly enjoy playing music for their fans (and trying to convert non-fans). They have developed their style over several years of touring with bands such as The Shins, Silversun Pickups, Something Corporate, The Hush Sound..just to name a few.
The band are providing support for Tegan and Sara on their upcoming USA tour..how I wish I could make it to one of those shows. Tegan Quin is already a big fan of the band, and with songs and shows as good as theirs, I predict they will have MANY more fans over the months and years to come. They deserve it.
Steel Train’s latest album, Trampoline, is available now. They are currently recording their third full-length studio album which as of yet is untitled and has no release date.