SXSWinner: Steel Train | Trampoline
After being told about this record more than a few times, I finally "got" the album last month after listening ten times with one ear but not getting it, so I was primed to see them and catch a "Black Eye." Caught a daytime set at Red Eyed Fly, the club sound was merely average, the stage was miniature but the band's sound is big and getting bigger. Oozing New Jersey in their wifebeater t-shirts, this was honest rock and roll, songs about how the planes hit the towers and people actually died. There's an honesty in realizing one's mortality, but their songs seemed to be a trampoline of positivity after these negative experiences. It struck an honest chord for me, beyond the introspective songs, the honesty of admitting on your SXSW application that you're from Teaneck, NJ (when every other band claims to be from Brooklyn), there are few things that make me more proud than people who are proud to be from the Garden State. Trampoline is a great record, there are a half-dozen great songs on the album. People say Steel Train is a power pop band, not sure about that, but there are catchy tracks like "Kill Monsters in the Rain" and "I Feel Weird" that will get you singing all day long. - TK

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