Please donate to help save PopMatters. We are moving to WordPress in December out of necessity and need your help.
Music

Steel Cranes: Ouroboros

Guitar-and-drums two-piece loses good songs in the mix.


Steel Cranes

Ouroboros

Label: self-released
US release date: 2013-09-24
UK release date: 2013-09-24
Amazon
iTunes

Steel Cranes are yet another guitar-and-drums two-piece that seeks to plow the same furrow as that of the White Stripes, Black Keys, Viva Voce, Little Fish, Little Hurricane and many, many more. The key to successfully tapping this vein lies in a compelling voice and memorable guitar sound—whether crunching or sweetly melodic, the guitar has to do much of the heavy lifting when it's the only instrument on display. Steel Cranes suffer from a mix that pushes the guitar too far behind the vocals, homogenizing it into a bland wash of generic distortion. Tracy Shapiro's vocals are fine if not outstanding, and Amanda Schukle is better than competent at pounding the skins, but the tracks here sound as if Shapiro is standing in a room singing with the band playing in another room with the door closed.

It's a shame, because there are some good tunes here. Opener "Anthem" serves as a strong statement of purpose, at least until the watery chorus, while "Boat Song" is a standout, a slow-burn number featuring some nifty guitar work. "Moving On" brings some nice fury to its earwormy chorus, and album closer "Farewell" mixes the guitar tones between clean and fuzzy in a way that subverts expectation. More often than not, though, the lack of sonic punch undermines these tunes. Note to band: next time, bring the guitars way up, throw in a few more pedals and effects, and you'll have a hell of a record.

6

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Film


Books


Television




© 1999-2020 PopMatters Media, Inc. All rights reserved. PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.






Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.