Pop metal band
featuring vocalist Mike Matijevi and Frank DiCostanzo (guitar) and John Fowler (drums) formerly of Rage
Steelheart (MCA) 1991
1. Love Ain't Easy (3:41)
2. Can't Stop Me Lovin' You (5:07)
3. Like Never Before (4:46)
4. I'll Never Let You Go (5:07)
5. Everybody Loves Eileen (6:21)
6. Sheila (7:42)
7. Gimme Gimme (5:24)
8. Rock 'N Roll (I Just Wanna) (4:13)
9. She's Gone (6:33)
10. Down 'N Dirty (6:44)
Steelheart's big label debut featured big hair, big production values and big hooks. This is the very definition of 1980's pop metal, other than the fact that it was released in 1991. However, this sort of slick radio rock was still very popular in the early 90's before it was killed off by grunge and alternative music. Frank DiCostanzo and John Fowler (both ex-Rage of Angels) lay down a tight rythym section, while lead guitarist Chris Risola fills the holes with some finger flyin' lead work. Lead vocalist Mike Matijevi sings higher than a bird on a wire for a majority of this one. Take a listen to the catchy "Can't Stop Me Lovin' You" or the soaring "Like Never Before" and see if it doesn't shatter some glass in your house. These two songs alone put them on the same level as bands like Nitro and Vinnie Vincent Invasion as far as over-the-top, screaming lead vocalists go. "She's Gone" is the obligatory ballad on the album. If this song wasn't released as a single, it should have been. While I'm not really a fan of ballads per say, I can see this one doing really well on MTV and the radio. It has that same hooky feel as Slaughter's "Fly to the Angels" which was released around this same time and was a big hit for them.
Steelheart - Tangled in Reins (MCA) 1992
1. "Loaded Mutha"
2. "Sticky Side Up" (4:33)
3. "Electric Love Child" (6:28)
4. "Late for the Party" (4:18)
5. "All Your Love" (6:53)
6. "Love 'em and I'm Gone" (5:38)
7. "Take Me Back Home" (4:44)
8. "Steelheart" (5:44)
9. "Mama Don't You Cry" (5:49)
10. "Dancin' in the Fire" (3:49)
I read on another popular
melodic rock web page that people were comparing Steelheart to Cinderella, Britny Fox and Dangerous
Toys. While Steelheart may be in the same party/pop metal category as those
band, they don't sound the same at all. Those three bands have a distinct Aerosmith influence and a "raunchier" sound. "Tangled in Reins" reminds
me of the crop of Zeppelin-clone bands
that came out in the late 80's, like Kingdom
Come and even Great White to
a slightly lesser degree. This CD is pop metal with excellent vocals, catchy
songs, and a overly clean production. I think this CD would have benefited greatly
from a dirtier, heavier production. The vocals have that Plant-like howl that
works so well with this style. "Electric Love Child" especially reminded
me of the Zeppelin like vocal melodies.
"Mama Don't You Cry" is a sentimental, piano led ballad that allows
vocalist Michael Matijevic a chance to stretch a bit. "Steelheart"
(the song) rocks fast and hard. Once again, bringing those guitars out front
and making them a bit grittier and meaner really would have made this song,
and the disc as a whole, that much more enjoyable. As it stands, however, not
a bad listen.
Mike Matijevic also sang on the soundtrack to "Rock Star".