Steel Train is a name that isn't completely unknown, I suppose, but I find it is mentioned less often than I would expect, at least now that I'm familiar with the band's music. Though I'd heard of the group before a couple years ago, it wasn't until the recent release of their third and self-titled album that I took the time to listen to an entire record. One time through and I was hooked; Steel Train's brand of pop rock is impossibly catchy, consistently energetic and draws from a variety of influences and styles. I haven't yet made my way through their catalog, but I'm certainly eager to after this fine introduction.
Highlights on the new record range from high-strung rockers ("Turnpike Ghost") to hook-filled drivers ("You Are Dangerous") to quirky pop numbers ("Soldier in the Army"). The album never really settles into a groove, yet somehow it's all the more enjoyable for its unpredictable nature. Smooth harmonies, infectious guitar riffs and prevailing sense of fun all add to the album's considerable appeal; it's accessible enough to engage a mainstream audience yet odd enough to gain fans from the more indie crowd as well. It may take a little time for everyone else to stop sleeping on these guys, but if you're reading this you have no excuse not to give them a listen right away.
Download: Turnpike Ghost (MP3)