Howlin' Steam Train : Howlin' Steam Train
Steam trains are the romantic manifestation of the industrial revolution. Compared to the image of a steam train in full flight – huge clouds of smoke billowing into the sky, the air thick with the scent of burnt coal and the roar of 19th century engineering – your average suburban train is as invigorating as a bowl of soggy white bread. Bugger the environmental impact – this is beauty in its finest industrial guise.
Howlin’ Steam Train might not be as romantic as a steam train comin’ down the line, but it’s still an event worth celebrating. Howlin’ Steam Train follow in the path of the exuberant country-infused bands of the current era – Graveyard Train, Brothers Grim et al – but with a tougher, R&B edge. Ramblin’ Man is as sharp as Brian Jones swanning down Carnaby Street, and as arrogant as a Chicago hustler blazing a trail through town with a bag full of Muddy Waters riffs. On All Day And Night Howlin’ Steam Train catch jump on the back of some rolling stock and head deep south in search of Them’s spiritual antecedents. Captain Thunderbird is bar room attitude with a shot of amphetamines and a barrel of moonshine, while Ain’t Coming Home leaves the safety and sanctity of home in search of booze, drugs and a world of ill repute where Jerry Lee Lewis is king, and Pat Boone is beaten to a battered pulp.
Steam trains are cool. Howlin’ Steam Train is the shit. End of story.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Ramblin' Man
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