The members of Steel Train have been on quite a ride.
Steel Train was formed as a high school band, with members coming and going every few months. The band is made up of Evan Winiker, Daniel Silbert, Jon Shiffman, Justin Huey and Jack Antonoff, the only founding member still in the current lineup.
The original lineup signed with Drive-Thru Records in 2002 and proceeded to release two EPs and two full-length albums.
In 2009, the band left Drive-Thru Records, toured with Tegan & Sara, played in the Coachella festival, created their current lineup and released their third full-length album through their own label, Terrible Thrills.
The self-titled third album consists of 12 tracks, each unique but essentially Steel Train. The tracks were also written to appeal to a diverse audience.
To test this, the band released a companion album, “Terrible Thrills Vol. 1,” featuring all female artists covering the 12 tracks. Some of the artists included Scarlett Johansson, Tegan & Sara, Holly Miranda and Alia Shawkat.
The album opens with “Bullet,” an in-your-face song that states, “…you and I both are nothing but thieves, we’ll take what we want when we need,” and later testifying, “…we are the last generation of hope.”
This anthem of sorts is followed by “Turnpike Ghost,” a crowd favorite that invites the audience to sing along at live shows. “You and I Undercover” appears as the first ballad on the album, with lyrics that are open to interpretation but mostly act as an ode to some sort of relationship.
One of my favorite songs from the album is “Children in the 90s (I’m Not The Same),” a lighthearted throwback to classic pop-punk that references how we want to take back our childhood, but realize we’ve all changed since then.
I saw Steel Train perform last October and it was an extremely energetic and engaging set. I would highly recommend checking them out and seeing them live.
Until then, you can visit their YouTube channel or their website steeltrain.net.