Emerging Sheffield rockers Steal The City fuse infectious heavy rock with punk-infused influences in a sound that’s just been crowned with the release of their fantastic debut EP.
The band began when guitarist Joe Hanson met vocalist and bassist Sam Bantock and took him to his first Download Festival in 2014. They were both inspired to do what the bands they saw on stage were doing, immediately set about jamming together then brought in Tom Smith on guitar and Joe’s childhood friend Ellis Bullement on drums.
The band released debut EP The Time We Needed on Friday and, speaking about its launch, Joe told us: “Excited is an understatement! After every gig, we always have people coming up to us afterwards asking if we have CDs for sale, and it pained us to say no every single time. This won’t be the case for much longer thankfully. Expect riffs and chorus lines that stick with you throughout the day after listening. Our debut EP is a real earworm, if we do say so ourselves.”
The EP kicks off in impressive style with opening track Manufactured, which opens with a big low-tuned riff then blasts of guitar between big shouty vocals through the first verse. Cries of “Hey, hey” are followed by a cry of “This one’s for the masses” in the build-up to a big singalong chorus that ends with “The holes in your story are laid out before me.” A big blast of riffs follows, then a cry of “You don’t know what you want, But we, we know what’s best for you, So stop making your own decisions, Just listen and know your place” leads into another big chorus.” More big riffs come our way in a build-up to one last blast of the chorus. Check it out below:
That’s followed by the chugging riffs of the intro to Wallflower. A big vocal opening drops into a building pre-chorus of “Is it what they said, Or is it in my head, Am I the stranger in this room, Having everything to prove” over palm-muted guitars. A huge singalong chorus of “Wallflower on the outside, Looking for an inside, Hoping that the world will know my name, Instead of standing in the spotlight, Praying for the good life, Wishing that the days will come my way” follows with big shouty vocals that you can just imagine being a major crowd pleaser at shows. This is a ridiculously catchy, hugely enjoyable track.
Next, Simon Says opens up with guitar reverb then a cheeky little bassline that feeds into a blast of fast-paced riffs. Palm-muted guitars support an increasingly heavy opening verse that feeds into a fast, shouty chorus that ends on “You are your own worst enemy.”
Latest single So, The Thing Is epitomises the Steal The City sound with huge riffs and ridiculously catchy vocals and melodies. It opens up with a cry of “My girl is always on my back but I know it won’t last ‘cos she’s a pain in the ass, While I am slowly losing my mind, I know she doesn’t care no matter how hard I try.” A big blast of guitar riffs follows, drops out again as the vocals kick in, and returns for a cry of “Everybody’s telling me this bitch ain’t worth my time.” A big singalong chorus of “My girl is the one who holds me back, Although it won’t be too long ’til I start to crack, I’m losing my soul in this darkened room, While her shadow consumes my life” follows then ends on a fast-paced riff which rolls into a heavier verse.
The pace drops down with high-pitched vocals that gradually build up to a guitar solo with jumpy guitar riffs in the background, then feeds into a repeat of the chorus with big high-pitched guitars over the top. It’s an awesome track, and you can check it out in the video below:
The fast pace continues into Intoxicated, with big fast-paced guitar riffs under big vocals, then explodes into a big catchy chorus that ends with a really cool combination of guitars and backing vocals. It’s intense and unrelenting, ending on a flying riff then a big smash of the catchy chorus.
The EP ends with the band’s debut single Beating Heart, which opens up with a cool riff that drops into palm-muted chords through a building opening verse. A pre-chorus vocal-led section “I cannot waste my precious time, How many times can I cross the line, Won’t confess rain or shine, Such a mess but I’ll be fine, After everything you’ve put me through” builds up to a fast-paced chorus “Give it up, give it up, It is my time to fight, It is my human right, To make sure I don’t fade away, Money isn’t everything it claims to be, I just wanna be free from everything that’s bringing me down.”
The second verse ends with repeats of “Bring me down,” then increasingly intense vocals build up to a big guitar solo over driving drums. The pre-chorus vocals then kick in with just drum support, then a guitar slide brings back the guitars for a big final blast of the chorus.
The band sold out their EP release show on Friday and, when asked what we should expect from their shows, Joe told us: “Energy, headbanging, movement and more energy! We never slow down and try to get the crowd involved with the show, whether it’s singing and clapping along to the songs or just banging their heads with us! The aim of every show is to make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves as well as ourselves.”
When it comes to music influences, Joe tells us the band have taken collective inspiration from While She Sleeps. He told us: “The riffs, the vocal harmonies and the passion for what they do is amazing. And their stage shows are insane! They never stop moving and keep the crowd engaged at all times. We certainly take huge influence from them with our own stage performances.”
And in terms of their musical inspiration, he adds: “I think we tend to write about what’s on our mind at the time, or things that have happened to us in the past. We are a very personal band. We don’t tend to make up a storyline to write a song. All the music is related to us in one way or another. The main example is our new single So, The Thing Is The song is about a breakup in the band and having the courage to move on.”
Steal The City have the potential to be the next big UK rock band with their infectious melodies and punky inspirations giving them a real Rise Against and A Day To Remember vibe.
They have several more gigs coming up, more info on that is here, and have already started work on their next record. As Joe says: “We don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. If you are ever at a show, please come and say hello! We love talking to fans and meeting new people. It’s really important to us that we keep the relationship we have with our fans.”