I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect with Steelheart’s new album, “Good 2B Alive”. I intially heard their single, “LOL” when it was released on the band’s “Just A Taste” EP so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved this band back in the early 90′s. I have seen them play live a couple of times, and I was always amazed at Miljenko Matijevic’s vocal range.
I thought Steelheart deserved another shot, even though I wasn’t impressed on what I had hear previously. After the first play, I must admit that my opinion didn’t change much. I casually set the CD aside, not expecting to go back to it for a while. A few weeks later, I decided to give this disc another shot, and I am quite glad I did.
Those going into “Good 2B Alive” expecting to hear the hair metal of Steelheart’s past will be greatly shocked if not disappointed. Steelheart has updated their sound, and by doing so, have created something a little more modern, a big edgy,and a lot more relevant to today’s audience.
Miljenko Matijevic has always been known as the singer with a wide range, whose voice could break glass with his high pitched screams. On this disc, Matijevic doesn’t try to destroy your China with his high notes, but he does show that he still has that same powerful instrument that helped Steelheart become well known amongst 90′s hard rock fans.
In a certain sense, this disc kind of reminds of Guns N’ Roses new epic, “Chinese Democracy”. It isn’t because they sound the same. Both bands opted to go in a different direction, and by doing so, have alienated their long time fans. Steelheart obviously isn’t as well known as Guns N’ Roses, but they took a major chance with the sound of their latest release. The guitar tones are a little more toned down, but there is some pretty solid playing on this disc, although without Matijevic’s voice, I doubt I would have given this another look.
After a few more listens, I like the music and the vocals on “Good 2B Alive”. It takes a few listens to soak it in to gain a full appreciation for the music. My biggest issue with this CD, is that the songs are not very memorable. Yes, the music is good, but I can’t find a song on this album that has lyrics that stay with me. Back in the 90′s when Steelheart was still doing their hair metal thing, they were able to craft some pretty catchy tunes. Some of which have never left my memory. I can not say the same thing about their latest opus.
If Steelheart can figure out a way to create a disc using the sound of this record, but writing some more catchy tunes, they could have a monster record on their hands. Unfornuately, “Good 2B Alive” isn’t it.
You can find Steelheart on myspace at this link. You can purchase “Good 2B Alive” here.
Miljenko Matijevic – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, piano
Chris Risola – lead guitar
Rev Jones – bass
Mike Humbert – drums