Steel City Rocks: Steel Trees
Considering that the title of their new single makes reference to womanly reproductive organs, any suggestion that punk-infused stoner-rockers Steel Trees’ musical output has matured outright would certainly be far-fetched. Though for a band seemingly on the precipice of greatness, if the no-frills charm of ‘Womb Raider’ is an indication of things to come, Steel Trees could soon find themselves rightfully enjoying national recognition, and more regular appearances alongside their idols.
The Dearne Valley trio have long purveyed some of South Yorkshire’s finest scuzz-rock noise, with the band’s 2012 debut album Attack of the Stoner Zombie Killer Kids earning them prestigious support slots with the likes of Dinosaur Jr. and Turbowolf – musicians who personally vouched for the self-confessed ‘misfits and scruffs’. Local admirers such as Christian Carlisle (Sheffield’s BBC Introducing representative) have also been extremely vocal in support of the Trees. The enlisting of Sheffield producer extraordinaire Ross Orton – whose production credits include Drenge, Wet Nuns and the Arctic Monkeys – to mix the new single is a statement in itself, and an indicator that Steel Trees are ready to up their game and hone an already ferocious, formidable sound. ‘Womb Raider’ exhibits the same reckless abandon and grungy, dirt-under-the-fingernails riffage – an area where Steel Trees utterly excel – of the band’s previous releases, while managing to promote a fresh, direct approach which works well with their signature gravelly tenacity. Reminiscent of early Nirvana, both the song’s bustling verses and Tom Hannon’s hoarse vocals embody the spirited punk edge often associated with ST. These zealous moments are flanked by a beefy bastard of a riff, oozing with stoner credentials and the same slurry muck that once filled the pit villages the band call their home. A scorching guitar solo characterised by deranged shrieks and spasms represents a peak for the single’s headbangability, which then reverts to the aforementioned bastardy riff for a final time.
The early consensus shared by Steel Trees and their fans is that this single is the best thing they have ever committed to record – these four minutes of berserk stoner-punk debauchery substantiate those notions and then some. Prepare your orifices for an all-out auditory assault, ladies and gentlemen. Uterus raids are the least of your worries. Long live Steel Trees.
Check out the new video for Steel Trees’ single ‘Womb Raider’ HERE!
Catch Steel Trees at Forum in Sheffield on the 24th March, ticket info HERE!
Words by Chris Lord