Friday, August 7, 2009

American Steel - Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts

It's been a long strange trip for the men of American Steel. They have weathered cancer, the dissolution of Lookout Records and a five year tenure as a more synth-driven alter ego called Communique to persevere in their 14th year. AmSteel's return after a five year hiatus was met with a warm reception. The record was entitled Destroy Their Future, very probably with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It brought back the Cali punk house party vibe their earlier New Disorder stuff sported, with a gang of sing-a-long choruses that were hard to drink out of your head.

AmSteel went out on on tour with Alkaline Trio to promote Destroy Their Future, but to the disappointment of many without longtime guitar wrangler Ryan Massey, who proved too busy expanding his newly acquired Sharkbite Studios to make the run. It was good to get a record from the gents nonetheless, but soon after the tour ended, speculation ensued as to whether it would be another five years before they dropped another set of songs. Lucky for us, it's only taken two for Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts to make its appearance. Opening with the short sharp shock of Emergency House Party, it's pretty obvious that AmSteel are in the house. There is a healthy amount of the East Bay meets Motown vibe we've come to expect from the foursome, with upstrokes aplenty. Sweetening the pot, JS-NYC fave Josh Staples from The New Trust and The Velvet Teen lends guest vocals to a couple tracks and scores a little vocal homage from the gents as well. This is the best Fat record in a long time. There isn't a chorus on Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts that you won't want to sing along with at the top of your lungs, regardless of sobriety or time of day. Pop on over to Fat and see for yourself if their new repricing plan encompasses AmSteel. Go back often and see if the rumored American Steel/Dead To Me/Banner Pilot tour comes to fruition, or just wait for my screams of joy.


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