Every so often an album comes along that stands a few inches taller than the others. You spend a few months trawling through the new releases, the rehashes, the debuts and the bands daring to challenge the norm by going in a slightly different direction until suddenly an album appears in your cd player that not only feels new but feels connected to the music that has come before. Indie music is an ever-constant, it’s pounding, pulsing rhythms, it’s stories-from-the-streets foundation mixed with the honest guitar, bass and drums setup has never been out of fashion. Sure, occasionally it changes path slightly, perhaps a new voice appears that makes others sit up and reassess, but the audience is always there for good indie rock and this is where former ‘Reigning Days’ frontman Daniel Steer comes in.
This isn’t someone wanting to redesign the wheel, there isn’t anything particularly new here, but what makes up his ten-track debut album are strong songs that have been produced by someone with pedigree in the form of Tommy Gleeson whose former jobs include working with Slaves To Gravity and Feeder (who, incidentally, Steer is supporting at upcoming gigs) so from the first fist pumping note of ‘Monster’ you feel in capable hands.
It’s an album for grownups, an album to appeal to the early twenties mob that are tired of the shiny pop acts or over-the-hill bands from the 90’s.
Which is ironic as Steer’s music owes a great deal to bands like Feeder, Muse, Queens of The Stone Age and Hard-Fi. The songs are guitar based but has subtle synth to give depth and an added interest to proceedings, actually subtlety is something that runs throughout the album, maybe this is what raises it above most of it’s peers, it chooses a different path from going full-blown from the off, the music hits highs and adds strong lows to keep you interested. It would be easy to go all blood and thunder with the drums and guitar, but the album offers much more. ‘The Wire’ is the lead track from the album, having found a platform on BBC Introducing, and it’s easy to see why, a patient track that soars in the chorus and has the double-tracked vocal that appears throughout the album that adds a harmonised vocal, again giving depth and interest.
If you like your indie music to have a solid backbone that makes you punch the air when it rocks but also make you sing along, track down this album.