New Music – Cult Icon ‘Steel’

If you’re ready for a foot stomping, good ol barn romping hootennany then Cult Icon have you covered. Delivering a fuzzed out and pitchfork sharp slice of Americana blues with lyrics every bit as clever and soulful as the instrumentation.

It begins as it means to go on with just a filthy distorted classic bluesy riff. The guitar is growling, and the drums are doing a cheeky little two-step. You feel it in your gut, it’s a gloriously dirty little sound. When the vocals come in they’re just as beautifully mixed with a delicious tone on that slips right in to the sound.

Lyrically the track could be forgiven for sticking to the tried and tested, but that’s not what Cult Icon are looking to do at all. It’s poetic, it’s clever, it’s got a kickass message and it manages to nod to the classic blues tropes and topics without just straight plagiarism.

This is blues for the modern age, it’s got a rock’n’roll infusion and its finger on the pulse. It has a political leaning without being preachy. While it spends time documenting the disturbing and strange world we live in, the main call of the chorus is that the hard times can only serve to make us stronger.

I tell you steel gets tougher the more it’s tempered.

At the 1:40 mark the guitar goes for a little walk through the classic progression and then just freaks out with a sneaky little solo that wiggles and jiggles all over the track. It’s unexpected and much more technically proficient than is usual for the genre.

I’m a sucker for a good blues band, when you get musicians together at this level of skill clearly playing the music that they love and feel from their toes to the bones it just always comes out oozing with passion and soul.

Can it get better? I tell you Steel gets better with every listen.

Words by Matt Miles

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