American Steel

Long-defunct Bay Area band American Steel are back in business. The band played an unadvertised house show this Friday, May 4th in West Oakland, California. The band's set included material from Rogue's March as well as some brand new tracks, ostensibly meaning the band has a new album in the works.

The band's last release was Jagged Thoughts. The band changed their name to Communique in 2003. The band had three releases under that moniker, including 2006's Walk Into the Light EP on Sabot.

I was lucky enough to be crammed in the middle of the room and has written a bit of a recap for those who missed out.

Few things are more awesome than seeing a great band get back together after several years. Regardless of your feelings on reunions, getting to see that band you loved one more time or for the first time if you missed out is always fantastic. Sometimes they're a bit rough around the edges but seeing friends share old songs in front of a new audience is good time. Granted, the guys in American Steel have been playing together basically non-stop since they "broke up" and changed names, but it's refreshing nonetheless.

For those that are unfamiliar, American Steel is pretty much where bands like Against Me! got their punk dynamism from. From Ryan's frantic playing guitar and shouting to Rory's up-front, in your face yelling you basically have a band who was well before their time and seemed to fade away into obscurity prematurely.

Having never experience the Steel live before their demise this was both an education and an introduction to the band's live dynamics. It seemed to me like the band was dead on in their old and new tracks, personally. The crowd wasn't going nuts, hanging from ceiling or anything but everyone there was excited, singing or shouting along with the old stuff and dancing to the newer material.

About 50 or so people packed into a room about the size of most college doubles and smashed as tight as possible to get a glimpse of Rory, Ryan and the rest play their first show as American Steel in something like five years. Outside and in as we waiting for them to start, everyone was a'buzz with questions about what the band would play, is this for good?, and of course "are they going to be recording a new album?" Most, if not all, of these questions were answered in the course of the short but oh-so-sweet set.

I'm trying to keep this fairly short, so I'll not keep on keepin' on. As much as I enjoyed Communique, American Steel is where these guys' hearts are it seems and for good reason. It's sweaty, it's punkrock and it seems the rest of the scene has caught up to where they were 7 years ago. Hopefully this time around they'll see some better results.

And as for the new stuff? It's fucking great. It's a mix between Rogue's March and the past few years of punk rock. Get stoked.

I also managed to grab a set list from the guys and have it here for you. Notice the new songs that were included in the set.

  1. Loaded Gun
  2. Every New Morning
  3. Hope Springs
  4. Sons of Avarice
  5. Rogues March
  6. Dead and Gone
  7. Got a Backbeat
  8. Love and Logic
  9. Optimist