Steel Train - 1969 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Steel Train

1969 (2003)

Drive Thru

The Jackson 5, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Bob Marley, David Bowie, The Beatles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Name one band out of those that A)should ever be attempted to be covered or B)has been covered with any degree of success. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who fits into either of those categories. Steel Train does nothing to change that, either.

I've never heard this group's original material so I can't comment on their normal sound, but these songs just sound weak. The handclaps in David Bowie's "Space Cadet" sound as unenthusiastic as handclaps could sound. Their version of "I Want You Back" is just a bland coffeehouse rock version of an otherwise classic R&B tune. Then, the painfully whitebread quintet takes a stab at Bob Marley with miserable results. Remember guys - just because you smoke pot doesn't mean you can play reggae.

Also, they try to cover the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," one of the best songs of that band's career. Did Steel Train honestly think they could do it justice? Musically it's virtually note-for-note, but vocally singers Scott and Jack can't convey anywhere near the emotion that John, Paul, and the boys pulled off.

I don't mean to hate on Steel Train. I'm sure they love the sixties. But doing an entire EP based off cover songs from one year is just a terrible, terrible idea. This idea is only made worse by the absolutely vanilla sounds this group put to tape. If you like this, just go to your local "alternative" bar by the college in your city on open mic night, you'll hear the same stuff.

I Want You Back