Steels is Tuscaloosa's fastest, loudest new bandBy Chandler Padgett | 03/01/2016 10:04pm
Steel your resolve—upstart Tuscaloosa-based rock band Steels explodes with vigor and soul in their 2014 EP, “On the Other Side”. The record contemplates love and home in six fast paced, growling tracks that hint at the potential of this young group.
The first track, “Dream State” is a 49 second instrumental intro to the record. With a mellow guitar reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr, the song warms up listeners to the fast-paced rock and guitar harmonies soon to come.
Next is “Be Around”, a song about long-distance love. With crashing cymbals and a heavy guitar, “Be Around” starts off loud. However, the halting guitar rhythms hurt the flow of the track. The vocals remain strong, with Steels singing “when life settles down/ you know that I'll be around/ I can't wait to be around” with the sort of yelling growl of Dave Grohl.
“Slow Burn” is the highlight of the record, and with its catchy chorus, isn’t a slow burn at all. Alternating between a steady guitar and the explosive, pounding chorus, the song dwells on falling in love, with Steels singing “is this slow burn feeling what they call love? I haven't felt it enough.”
The band’s Southern roots are brought out in “220”, which questions belonging as Steels sing “I've been waking up/ in a strange place begging to hear/ the fleeting quake/ of my heart drawing near.” Using the same loud/soft alternation as “Slow Burn”, Steels produce another energetic and loud chorus to propel the song along. Coupled with soulful singing, “220” is another strong track.
Steels fall back in love on “True Romance”, as they showcase more of their diverse style and skillset. In a style similar to Kings of Leon, Steels combine a light guitar with bluesy singing in what shapes up to be yet another solid track. To the tune of horns, they sing “oh, I'm a lover baby/ and I know that it drives you crazy.”
Steels end their EP on a heavy note with “Big Chill”. There is never a moment of reprieve as Steels blast the troubles of love, singing “do I give up on what I love?/ or who I love?/ which one's the easier mistake?” They show off their powerful vocals as well, channeling some of the anger and confusion of the song.