Original article by Karol Kaminski from Idioteq.com
Six years after their latest LP “The Harder They Fall”, Pennsylvania’s STEEL NATION return with a quality new single “2 Many Times”, coming from their new album “The Big Sleep”, coming soon on vinyl, beautiful picture disc, cassette tape, and digipack CD on Knives Out Records. The new single offers a solid mixture of metal and hardcore with genuine sensibility, led by clean, yet gritty and powerful vocal delivery that will get you both movin’ and groovin’. Play it loud and learn more with our special feature featuring great artwork from Knives Out Records and STEEL NATION’s first hand commentary below.
STEEL NATION began in the spring of 2005 in central PA with 4 musicians looking to combine the sounds of classic NYC and Cleveland hardcore. After going through a few singers, Steve and Neil decided to take over vocal duties allowing the band to finally be the band that they set out to be. 13 years later and after releasing 2 LPs, a few 7 inches and tours in North America with bands such as Death Before Dishonor, Naysayer, No Turning Back and Europe the band continues to play and represent the PA hardcore scene. With each album STEEL NATION continues to push the boundaries of their music and abilities while remaining true to their original vision of the band.
STEEL NATION is: Neil – Guitar/Vocals • Steve – Guitar/Vocals • Alex – Guitar • Ethan – Drums
Despite Steel Nation being a band for the last 15 years, we have all only lived in the same area for about 3 to 4 months. It is difficult to claim one city as our local scene so we have always just considered all of Pennsylvania the scene we come from.
I often think PA has been an overlooked scene despite being the location of This Is Hardcore and being the home to some of the hardest working bands for the last few decades.
Like most scenes, there is always a rise and fall with venues, bands and kids going to shows. Some of the venues we first starting playing at such as the Championship in central PA have come and gone with nothing to replace it while other cities such as Pittsburgh are luck to have venues like the Roboto Project replaced by Preserving Underground.
As far as bands go, there has never been a shortage of bands in PA.
It is always great we are able to still play with bands that have helped shaped the PA scene like Strength For A Reason and Wisdom In Chains and are still able to play with bands that started around our time like Unreal City. Bands that are no longer up and coming like Eternal Sleep are still releasing new music. You have newer bands starting up with older members from PAHC scene like Human Animal and Carried By Six but then you also have younger bands like Choice To Make. I also think it is hard to not mention Code Orange as a band that has transcended hardcore to reach the level they are at now but started right where every other band I mentioned did.
Coronavirus situation in Pennsylvania
As I write this, we are currently in the most significant world event in almost everyone’s lifetime, the COVID–19 pandemic. This has and will continue to disrupt the world of music and will force bands and artists to become more creative with how to get their music to the public. Even before shelter in place orders were being issued by governs, shows were being cancelled.
It didn’t take long for artists to get creative and make things happen.
I don’t think it was even a full 48 hours after their show getting cancelled that CodeOrange set up a full live stream of their release show with some crazy production. Then shortly after that, the Cro-Mags did a stream and then I think Year of the Knife did one too.
It will be interesting to see what else bands will come up with if this pandemic continues on into summer.
At first, I thought worrying about music at a time like this was one of the least important things, but after watching the Code Orange set it made me realize that at times like this music can help people feel more normal as day to day life has been completely disrupted. Hopefully a new Steel Nation record can add to elevating the mood during these uncertain times. Till then, best wishes and good luck.