American Steel – State Of Grace 7″ (Fat Wreck)

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Stop the clock, step into a time machine and travel back a decade or two to when dozens of bands had taken their cues from the likes of Jawbreaker and were banging out their own version of what you might call “thinking man’s pop-punk”. Think Dillinger Four, Against Me!, Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio or The Flatliners, all of whom played a highly melodic version of punk rock, adding their own flavour and personal touch to the mix. Right up there for me were American Steel, and they reached their pinnacle on 2001’s Jagged Thoughts album. It captured the sound and mood of a place and time perfectly and holds fond memories for me. Anyways, one thing lead to another and in their own words “life got in the way”, so nothing happened in the steelworks since their last show in 2014. Well the forge has been well and truly fired up again because these two songs make it sound like American Steel never went away. Fingers crossed, this is the first of lots more to come. Tom Chapman

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