After returning from tour, American Steel went into the studio with engineer Kevin Army (Operation Ivy, Green Day, The Mr. T Experience, etc.) to record their eponymous first album, released on San Francisco’s New Disorder Records, home of Half Empty, The Cost, The Enemies, and many others. In 1998, the band appeared on several compilations and toured the country twice, re-visiting some cities from previous tours and playing numerous new ones.
In the spring of 1999, American Steel signed to Lookout! and again went into the studio with Kevin Army to record Rogue’s March, released in October 1999. The recording process was intermittent, due to guitarist Ryan’s initial diagnosis and early battle with leukemia. Part of the urgent, soul-searching quality of the album came from the band’s personal struggle with Ryan’s illness, most poignantly captured in their song, “Hope Springs from Somewhere.” 2000 saw the band tour relentlessly in both the U.S. and Canada, including appearances at South by Southwest and CMJ. Rogue’s March became an underground favorite, topping many fanzine’s lists of “Best Record of the Year.” By the end of 2000, American Steel was firmly established as one of the most explosive bands in the Bay Area. In addition to their bigger and better than ever local shows, they also received a nomination for “Best Punk Album,” along with Rancid, Green Day, No Doubt & Blink 182 in the California Music Awards 2001.
While clearly influenced by the early East Bay sound, American Steel’s song structures often owe more to the much older sounds of traditional Motown, folk, and rock than to punk or hardcore. This combination of traditional music and punk rock, of the subtlety of the former with the power of the latter, defines and reconciles the diverse group of songs that make up Jagged Thoughts, American Steel’s latest LP. Having fully absorbed their punk influences to make Rogue’s March, a new definitive East Bay Punk album, American Steel set forth to start creating an entirely new genre of music. An exciting take on rock and roll equally tempered by punk’s hardness, swagger and jangle and melodic pop’s irresistible essence, Jagged Thoughts was a masterwork by a band of incredible promise.
In the spring of 2002 the band broke up, only to shortly reform under the name of Communique with the addition of a keyboardist.
The band reformed early in 2007, and have since released the album Destroy Their Future on Fat Wreck Chords.
American Steel toured Europe in October of 2009 supporting All American Rejects and played a one off headline show in Camden, London with Rooftops.
Edited by sweetjug on 15 Dec 2009, 10:10
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I was there
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