we saw the release of Steele’s self titled release in Japan. Like many
bands and albums released in the late nineties there has been a recent resurgence of interest in lost of forgotten gems and now in 2011
repackaged as 'Tricks Up My Sleeve' and with four bonus tracks, we see Steele
return to the fold.
a pure Hard Rock gold with Jeff “Steele” Zugale leading the way on
vocals and guitars, joined by Steve Witschel on bass and Dave Lewitt on
drums, with guest appearances by Ted Poley and Joe Flamingo on backing
vocals. We also see Hira Hamma drumming and Irene Wahlman on bass on the
latter half of the album.
said before this is a Hard Rock gem that gets off to a great start with
‘Tricks Up My Sleeve’, an all guns blazing rocker that really gets the
old Hard Rock juices flowing. Big licks from Zugale and a massive rhythm
section really get this one underway before Zugale unleashes a true powerhouse
vocal to cap off this great ballsy opener.
great Hard Rockin’ continues with the thumping ‘Love Aint Gonna
Change Me’, another balls to the wall rocker that has more groove than
you can shake a stick at. It's hard to believe these songs are some
fifteen years old because they sound fresh and are right up there with
what is coming out of the Hard Rock scene right now.
tempo but not the quality is brought down a touch with the excellent
‘700 Miles’ this one starts of with a little bluesy semi-acoustic
guitar before exploding with a bang of chunky bass lines and fiery
licks, the tempo is picked up big time with the fantastic ‘Flirtin’
With Fame’ again Zugale unleashes another mighty riff fest.
world of Hard Rock has is fair share of fine ballads over the year and
this album has a corker in ‘Stay’ before bringing things back up to
speed again with ‘Live Forever’ another top notch rocker that again
has stood the test of time.
many favourite tracks of the album is the lick ridden ‘I’ll Never
Cry’, this is what really floats my boat, big licks, a thumping bass
line and a powerhouse drum beat. Great rock was made on just this and
this really is great rock.
the thumping hard rockin' last track it's time to bring the tempo down
just a touch with the Melodic Rock vibe of ‘Only On Your Mind,’ which
features one Ted Poley on backing vocals. A stirring rocker that will
appeal to the MR crowd. Keeping that melodic rock feel going is ‘Lead Me
Over’, before punching out the big guns for the modern rocker
‘Innocence’. This is the main portion of the album over but this
album does boast a few bonus tracks which are the original demos that
got Steele their deal with Troika Entertainment and then RCA Records.
These are the original recordings on cassette, yes not digital, just
old fashioned CrO cassettes which Zugale managed to convert across to digital
to tweak and remix. The four tracks are ‘Tricks Up My Sleeve’, 'Love
Ain't Gonna Change Me’, 'Flirtin With Fame’ and I’ll Never Cry’,
which just shows you should never throw anything away, because you never know
15 years later you may find a use for them.
all an outstanding Hard Rock record and with Steele lined up for next
years Z Rock Festival, I for one can't wait to hear these gems live.
1. Tricks Up My Sleeve
All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.