Steel Train – Twilight Tales From The Prairies Of The Sun

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Steel Train

Twilight Tales From The Prairies Of The Sun - Drive-Thru Records

I never liked Steel Train. I never understood why Drive-Thru Records signed them, and couldn’t see why they had a decently sized fan based. Then, in late 2003, the New York band released 1969, and I started changing my mind. Those cover songs sounded good, not great, but still pretty good; and I figured that maybe I had them pegged all wrong. But now they are about to release their first full length album,Twilight Tales From The Prairies Of The Sun, and after a listen to it, it is clear that my initial reaction to the band was right and 1969 only stood out because they were in fact cover songs rather then originals.

The fifteen track album clocks in at around 67 minutes, making each track have an average listening span of just under five minutes, which right away would appeal to some people. You are actually getting a good amount of music for your hard earned cash, but sadly, most of that music is wasted in drawn out melodies that repeat themselves nonstop for a minute or two at the end of most songs.

For the most part, the songs are slow, long, boring, and very monotonous. Vocalist Jack Antonoff has a decent set of pipes on him, but tries to be way too melodic and soulful, making for pretty generic vocals that don’t really grab the listener’s attention. The band dabbles in many various song formats, never really sticking to one, or working on it long enough to be well-done. There’s some slow, piano driven songs, an upbeat acoustic love song that kicks the album off (Better Love), songs laced with a tinge of country, some slightly leaning towards funk or latin, and even one song (W95th Street High) which could easily be compared to something by Fueled By Ramen‘s Gym Class Heroes! But even with that diversity factor, none of the songs really feel full and complete. They are missing something, something which makes the listener press repeat (or at least listen to it all the way through).

I had had some hope for Steel Train after their slightly entertaining cover album, but after hearing this, all that hope has been flushed away.