Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * ½
The steel cities that are divided by an ocean both have seen rough times and an industry that was decimated beyond recognition. Whereas Sheffield found solace in in burgeoning pop scene of the 1980s with the likes of The Human League, A.B.C. and Heaven 17, Pittsburgh, once rightly called the power house of America and the home of the great Pittsburgh Penguins now has a band to look up to and salute in the same way as the great Anti Flag.
Steelesque have announced themselves in pretty much the same way as Mario Lemiuex did when he pulled on the famous Penguins jersey, intoxicating and pretty hard to ignore. The sound is rough, dirty and sensational and with a quality that introduces itself from the first electrifying note. The music is an invigorating mix of rock, upbeat blues and a dream that Pittsburgh should have something more to look forward to and in the E.P. Johnny on the Spot, Pittsburgh has got exactly that.
Pittsburgh is an exciting place to visit, it has changed though in 20 years but it still commands the thoughts of anyone who has the pleasure of finding themselves overlooking the city from the incline. It is this view of the city that the band seem to have taken, making music that is easily attention grabbing and full of life.
The six songs on the E.P. dominate in a surprising way. With the two main members of the band being Ian Eldridge on guitars, bass, keys and vocals and Josh Egan taking the drum kit on an exhilarating ride through musical expression, there may seem more than enough music from both these men to make it an interesting collaboration of two like-minded men. However the band are clever and in having the superb addition of Mick Lykens on lead guitar, Eric Bee on guitar and Kevin Maurer on the brass, the expressionism that comes across loud and clear is amplified and doubled. It is a heady concoction that is just superb.
Songs such as the opener I Got Mine, Hooker A, the astonishing Raven’s Don’t Mind and Dead Bee making up the E.P. it is a piece of music worth investing in and getting lost in the thoughts of a steel town coming back to life.
Ian D. Hall