Have You Heard of Steady Legend?

I’m super stoked to be reviewing the self-titled debut album from the Austin based septet, ‘Steady Legend.’ Although this is their first release, Steady Legend, with its female-fronted line-up, has been rocking the scene since 2011. Let’s get this started…
1. “No Troubles”- Well, this isn’t a ska song, but I will give credit where credit is due. This is a fantastic soft rock number complete with horn solos and the subtle backing piano. Lead vocalist Deb Love’s voice is a true gem and certainly carries the tune. Grade: A-

2. “Wrong Road”- Steady Legend changes focus in this edgier rock song. With Deb’s more power vocals and super catchy horn lines, “Wrong Road” is a definite winner. Grade: A

3. “Catch On Fire”-What starts out as what seems to be another rock with horns song, quickly shifts to a ska/reggae feel. The organ finally steps out into the spotlight at one point with the already horn-driven number. Grade: A-

4. “Answers”-“Answers” starts with a piano and then to the stripped down vocal pairing of D. Love and Mike Mancuso. Skank-worthy in every way, this song has one killer trumpet solo. Try not clapping (or skanking) along to this one! Grade: A

5. “Longshot Redemption”- A slow grooving number is found is “Longshot Redemption.” The horns, along with the vocals give this song a nice sultry feel. I dig it. Grade: A

6. “Marble Swing”- As the name implies, this is a swing song. A decade too late, the neo-swing movement of the late 90’s could have used a female influence such as this. What can I say, this is a great song. Grade: A-

7. “Mirrors”- Rock meets reggae in this dark tune. I am a huge fan of horn sections, but I think it would have been overkill; so kudos for leaving them out. This song has a haunting feel and I love it. Two thumbs up! Grade: A

8. “On the Bright Side”- The harmonization between Deb and Mike is pure joy to listen to. There were even a few glimpses of Mike singing as a stand-alone which is a refreshing change. Call it reggae or call it more traditional ska, it doesn’t matter; it’s a solid song no matter how you slice it. Grade: B+

9. “Big Town Rock”- First the organ and then the horns build tension before getting into the punchy remainder of the song. The guitar shows off in the well appreciated solo which compliments the otherwise ska vibe. Grade: A

10. “The Best For Last”- Ironically enough “The Best For Last” is probably my least favorite song on the album. This is another swing number, and with an album with so many great tunes, they can’t all be my favorite. Deb’s vocals are spot on again and the horns are top notch as well. Grade: B+

To say that ‘Steady Legend’ is a ska band is not only misleading, but also an understatement. Certainly not to degrade those bands that stick within the confines of one genre, it is an impressive feet to not only play in various styles, but to play them well. Steady Legend does just that in this debut album which incorporates not only ska, but reggae, swing, soul and rock as well. This may seem like a recipe for disaster from a rather young band, but every song is arranged perfectly and is a pure joy to listen to. While it is true that I am a sucker for female vocalists, a lot of them tend to sound the same. Steady Legend bucks this trend as well. They have found a star in Deb Love who can deliver vocals that are powerful, sultry and sweet, all at the same time. Let’s not forget the rest of the band. While the horns are certainly the standouts in most songs, the guitar and organ set the stage. Pardon the cliché, but Steady Legend has a bright future and I can’t wait to hear more from these guys. Although this is their first release, this album will be LEGENDary!

Overall Grade: A-

Check out Steady Legend here:

http://www.steadylegend.com/

https://www.facebook.com/steadylegend/timeline

So what did you think? Share it my friend!

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