STEELMADE – The Stories We Tell
The Swiss rock band known as Steelmade recently released this 12-track record of theirs via Fastball Music and although there are a lot of well-crafted riffs, catchy melodies, and cleverly arranged tunes on it, it does not quite live up to my annoying expectations, which essentially comes down to two things. First of all, the vocals are anything but easy on the ear in many places and detract from the music rather than add and contribute something worthwhile and constructive to it. Secondly, it feels as if the album drags on forever and outstays its welcome, which is undoubtedly due to the fact that many of the songs fall by the wayside and are merely plodding along as opposed to really taking flight and coming across as memorable. "The Stories We Tell" does have its moments and a fair share of adrenaline-fueled passages not to mention some huge and fist-pumping parts here and there, but it sounds as if these guys just wrote a bunch of songs without applying any filters and simply added everything they had to the album without really considering whether it was all up to par. Musically and stylistically speaking, Steelmade are a rock band, or a hard rock band, if you will, and they even lean toward Alice in Chains and Soundgarden in places, which is a good thing, but it is as if the band lack a voice of their own and are merely performing material rather than believing in it and living it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with neither the production nor the musicianship here – everything sounds professional and well-executed and so on – but the very songs themselves leave something to be desired and rarely turn into something exciting or impressive. To cut a long story short, "The Stories We Tell" lacks emotional intensity, passion, and an identity of its own. The closing track "We Are Bizarre" does stand out though and is truly a cool little gem, but I just wish that the album had more moments like that.