STEELCITY - MACH II Released on March 20, 2020 (Perris Records)
L.A. melodic rockers, SteelCity, strut and flaunt their influences with unabashed shame on their sophomore effort Mach II. Combining a ’70s classic rock foundation with an ’80s glam metal flavor, SteelCity deliver 11 fiery tracks with a fresh and energetic sound. Although the band isn’t reinventing the genre in any way, SteelCity’s Mach II is more like hard rock / metal “comfort food” in these trying times. Due to the infectious use of their Hammond organ, the band’s ’70s rock influences shine through fantastically, thus separating SteelCity from their ’80s throwback metal peers.
Musicians in the band is astounding, as the musicianship is top-notch. Featuring stunning vocalist Roy Cathey (Cold Sweat, The Fifth), founding member, principal songwriter and guitarist Mike Floros (Idora), bassist Jason Cronwell (ex-Eric Martin Band), keyboardist Tony Stahl (Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, DeadRisen), and, powerhouse drummer BJ Zampa (House of Lords, Obsession, Yngwie J. Malmsteen), the band knows how to craft songs that will appeal to fans of arena rock and “guitar hero” types of music, as most of Floros’ solos are absolute scorchers.
Opener “Hearts On Fire” is a blast right out of the ’80s “hair metal” scene; decorated with fiery guitar leads, a groove-based slinky swagger and glorious vocal harmonies, topped off with an infectious singalong chorus. Cathey’s vocal blueprint is a combination of somewhere between Brian Vollmer of Helix and Jon Bon Jovi, while the instrumentation is equally impressive. Although there’s really not a bad apple in the bunch, the one-plus minute keyboard-laden instrumental “Prayer For Love” seems a bit useless positioned right before the ballad-esque closer “Down To One,” making the album slightly lose all of its momentum right at the end.
However, Mach II immediately impresses upon first listen and is actually even more rewarding after each subsequent listen. The familiarity, the energy of the musicians and the infectiousness of the 11 tracks are mesmerizing and addictive at the same time. With a massive production, catchy as hell tunes and stellar musicianship, SteelCity push it into overdrive on Mach II.
Track List: 01. Hearts On Fire 02. Dead Men 03. Steal Your Heart 04. Wasted Time 05. I Cry 06. A Little Love 07. Still Close to My Heart 08. Give It Back 09. Spotlight 10. Prayer For Love 11. Down To One
Band Members: Roy Cathey – vocals Mike Floros – guitars Jason Cornwell – bass BJ Zampa – drums Tony Stahl – keyboards
Reviewed by Kelley Simms for Sleaze Roxx, March 20th, 2020