Cleveland Steamers Still Sound Accessible on Sophomore Effort

Album Review

The Cleveland Steamers

Who’s Next?

(Smog Veil)

On the follow-up to his 2013 solo debut, Cheese Borger and the Cleveland Steamers, Cheese Borger continues to make music that’s surprisingly accessible. Given his past as the bassist in the Pink Holes, one of Cleveland’s most outrageous punk acts, you’d expect Borger's music to be a difficult listen. But it’s simply not the case. Album opener “Standing in Line” features harmony vocals and a catchy guitar riff as the song drones with a simmering, Velvet Underground-like intensity. With its ringing bells, the title track takes a page out of AC/DC’s musical playbook. Other highlights: A wailing saxophone riff propels “Dance Baby!” and “Nothing at All” begins with a bit of tempered feedback before kicking into high gear with a thick bass riff and ringing guitars. Vocals aren’t Borger’s strong suit — he speaks more than he sings — but the songwriting is so sharp here, it’s easy to cut him some slack. And his better half, guest singer Meredith Rutledge, has a supple voice that contrasts nicely with Borger’s.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
Scroll to read more Music News articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.