From my own fair City of Sheffield, STEAL THE CITY are a 4-piece hard rock band who formed a few years ago now and have been building a reputation, and a loyal following, through consistent touring of Sheffield and its surrounding areas, including local annual festival Tramlines. Musically, they have a signature American-rock sound with a flair for harmonies and plenty of big riffs, and they are working hard to increase their fanbase and continually improve their already-impressive live show. Their debut EP, 'The Time We Needed' was launched to a sold out crowd at the Corporation on Friday 13th April.
The EP starts with 'Manufactured', a fast tempo song with great guitars and throbbing drum beat. The vocals are melodic but sung with a touch of swagger and attitude, the chorus is catchy with band-chants which give it an anthemic feel, and an angry rant at one point. It's a great start!
'Wallflower' has a gritty reverb guitar intro, with that big vocal, wickedly booming bass and unyielding drums, and a bit more shouting - which always goes down well at live shows. This is infectious! I can't get it out of my head. The lyrics are mature given their ages and there is meaning to their songs; "hoping that the world will know my name". 'Simon Says' is faster and heavier and ready to be the soundtrack to my life; “You are your own worst enemy.” This is another massively enjoyable and fun song in what is an impressive debut.
‘So, The Thing Is…' has a delicious bassline and more big riffs alongside those silky-smooth vocals. I love this guy's voice #vocalcrushappearing and there is an absorbing guitar solo. As I said when I reviewed this as a single, it's a real ear-worm! 'Intoxicated' is more intense, a pure hard rock track, again with those big riffs - these musicians can play a tune or two! There's a commonality to the tracks so far and it's that they are awash with catchy melodies and infused with energy, fireballs that smack you in the face.
The track of the EP for me is 'Beating Heart' which was their first single release. It's exciting, it's fierce, it's anthemic, and the chorus is incredibly contagious; "it is my human right, to make sure I don't fade away". There is a steely resolve to the whole track, those trademark melodies, soaring riffs and a glorious guitar solo. The vocals rise and fall in intensity, giving the track more depth and character. I read a not-too-great review about this song and I have to say, are your ears broken? It's not Black Sabbath but then again nobody said it was. There's room for all different styles of good music and this is great music, fun and memorable and you need to sing along.
The EP is packed with enjoyable rock songs with some pop sensibilities and shows real star quality. I'm excited for these guys, I think they have a great future. Think Biffy, Bring Me The Horizon or While She Sleeps and you’ve got a good idea of the kind of sound these guys bring. 'The Time We Needed' is out now, and you need it in your life.
So, The Thing is…
Sam Bantock - Vocals and Bass
Tom 'Smit' Smith - Guitar
Joe Hanson - Guitar
Ellis Bullement - Drums