It may not be obvious, but Southern Maine has a great underground music scene.
Nowadays, most dedicated bands — such as Falling Skyward and Too Late The Hero — play some type of metal. But every now and then, a pop-punk band seems to rise and gain attention quickly, and rightfully so.
Sparks the Rescue, one of my personal favorite bands, started out their career as teenagers in Portland. Now they are a huge band that has played globally with acts like The All-American Rejects and D.R.U.G.S.
While Sparks the Rescue went on to bigger and better things, Maine’s scene seemed to lack a truly amazing pop-punk band to call our own. Now, there’s Steiner Street.
Steiner Street boasts a heavy brand of pop-punk, a newly signed record deal courtesy of Third Time Lucky Rekords, a huge following and unlimited potential.
Steiner Street’s full-length debut album, “Time & Temperature,” is a near-perfect adventure in melodic and aggressive pop-punk.
The album opens up with “I Should’ve Never Had a Birthday,” a song that starts off slow but quickly evolves into a fast-paced romp. Aggressive vocals that switch off between lead singer Andrew Scott and his bandmates pave the way to the chorus. The tune’s conclusion is sure to capture the hearts of sweaty kids in pits all across New England.
“Fish in a Barrel” starts out energetic and doesn’t let up. The pace of this song alone makes it instantly unforgettable. This track is a perfect example of how to create melodic punk.
“Make it Count” comes off as one of the album’s only shortcomings. This uptempo track doesn’t do enough to set itself apart from any other similar song. But on the bright side, the track does have great lyricism, a redeeming quality that makes it worthwhile.
“Frost” is another song that doesn’t match the quality of the album — a finger-tapping solo in this brand of music doesn’t feel natural, so it’s a shame it happens here. The lead guitarist of Steiner Street is very talented and comes so close to making the solo fit, but ultimately it’s a little awkward. Still, the end of the song has harmonized vocals over the main chorus, which will work well in a live setting.
The second half of the album opens strongly with “Run Ourselves Ragged,” which is less aggressive than the rest of the album, similar to punk band The Wonder Years. The breakdown in the middle of the song has interesting guitar work that leads back to another powerful section.
The album closes with “Quite Literally The Drink That Killed Him,” the most powerful song of the album. The track opens with an amazing vocal showcase over an instantly mesmerizing drumbeat. The track is far longer than the other songs and also comes off much more emotional.
“Time and Temperature” is chock full of catchy choruses, insane guitar riffs and powerful lyrics. Tracks tend to get repetitive, which is either a bad or beautiful thing, depending on how much of one sound you can stand.
Steiner Street is a tribute to the raw pop-punk legends such as Daggermouth and Saves the Day. If you’re a fan of melodic pop-punk, definitely look into this amazing showcase of local talent. The album hits shelves April 21 as a Record Store Day exclusive to BullMoose, so take a trip to Bangor and support local music.