Steel Train, 'Steel Train' (Terrible Thrills)

5
Steel Train
Critical Mass
Label: Terrible Thrills

by Jon Young

The third album from New Jersey's Steel Train is a textbook example of how to use splashy arrangements and high-octane performances to enhance tepid material.?In milder hands, Jack Antonoff's songs would be tedious emo fodder, the generic musings of a guy who claims he'd risk life itself for love. But Antonoff's sweet, breathless voice, boosted by jagged guitars and clattering percussion, creates the thrilling-albeit, brief-illusion of volatile emotions about to erupt. "Fall Asleep," a touching piano-and-strings ballad that closes the album, moves in a welcome, less frenetic direction.?

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