THE CLEVELAND STEAMERS-Best Record Ever

Album: Best Record Ever

Artist: Cleveland Steamers

Label: Smog Veil

Release Date: May 04, 2018

www.smogveil.com

BY JONATHAN LEVITT

I must admit I had to work past two things about this record after receiving it. The name of the band, which refers to a perverted sexual act of defecating on a lover’s chest, wasn’t exactly how I wanted to start the morning especially after eating a bowl of Count Chocula. (Er, the name also refers to an all-woman roller derby team in Clevo. They are badass as hell. – Sports Ed.) The second was on the song “My Asshole Cousin”, which has this doozy of a line: “My Texas asshole cousin, he’s the kind of guy who’d have put the Jews in the ovens”. It took me a while to accept that this was the band’s attempt at humor cut with an indictment of the virulent racism that infects pockets of the state (just never heard such painful imagery worked into the context of a song).

Moving past these two points was the proverbial clearing of the decks, which allowed me to eventually deep dive into the record, which is a rocking affair that is buoyed by some very strong material. But allow me to start with a slow burner of a song “Dream of Me” that I kept going back to on repeated listens. The slow, plodding, ominous guitar and bass line recalls elements of the Cramps cut with a Fields of The Nephilim gothic sensibility. I love how Meredith Borger’s vocals, the eerie organ, and the saxophone work really very well together to create one hell of a cool tune. The absolute jaw-dropping stunner on this record is the song “Monsanto”; the initial part of the song sounds like something that Sun City Girls might’ve included on Torch of The Mystics, and it’s menacing much like the industrial agricultural mega corporation that it’s named after. Intense, well-wrought and a stiff kick in the balls, this song just slays! The equally stunning “Hung Up on You” is a brilliant psychedelic-infused pop song that will have you pumping your fist in the air. Cullen O’Connor’s Hi Fi organ blew me away with its heaviness.

The whole affair is a bottom-heavy aural orgasm. The Cleveland Steamers have crafted an album that not only invades your mind a little bit more each time you listen to it, but one that also offers a matchless amalgam of punk, goth, and psychedelic rock that is a fascinating and harrowing journey to undertake. You are dumped somewhere new and exciting after you listen to this record—and isn’t this what art is all about?

DOWNLOAD: “Dream of Me” “Monsanto” “Hung Up on You”

 

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