“Steam Train Hearts' ("Uncertainty") has soaring stadium-ready rock and roll guitars throughout but the song retains it's overall indie feel. As always, despite the punk attitude, (songwriter) Dietz retains his pop sensibility.”
– ALDORA BRITAIN RECORDS
"Steam Train Hearts.....playing really catchy powerpop in the style of Dot Dash or vintage Weather Prophets - nice"
– JIGSAW RECORDS
"...brimming with emotional energy"
Genre: #IndieRock #AlternativeRock #FolkRock #80SIndieGuitarPop
Based in Richmond, VA
Label: Who Are These Guys? Records
For fans of: Neil Young + 80s indie guitar rock ( Dinosaur Jr., Psychadelic Furs)
Newly Released :
Newly Released :
Rumbling Retro-80s Indie Band Spits Smoke & Cinder
in debut album "Smoke & Cinder" by STEAM TRAIN HEARTS
Available now here.
Indie-pop enthusiast Wallace Dietz of the Silent Boys has united with swamp/punk/noir-a-billy guitarist Bruce Smith of Dismal Swamp Lords to create the STEAM TRAIN HEARTS, a melodically charged indie rock band. Smith and Dietz are partners at Sound Of Music studios in Richmond, VA with engineer John Morand who has produced bands like Honor Role, the Saints, Cracker, Sparklehorse, etc…. For the recording, Smith recruited human metronome Blee Child and bass aficionado Kyle Hermann (Imaginary Sons). They recorded the album, “Smoke & Cinder,” back in the summer of 2017, then set it aside as running the studio required more attention.
Dietz started STEAM TRAIN HEARTS in order to play shows in Richmond again. Hard rock lead guitarist Bruce Smith, said he would join if Dietz agreed to lose the guitar. Furthermore, he wouldn’t put up with anything resembling the romantic jangle pop of the Silent Boys. With that in mind, Dietz wrote all the songs mining a different vein of music, and Smith replayed all Dietz's rhythm guitar parts to give it a more rocking sound. While Dietz did, as requested, “lose the guitar” for the studio recording of this album, he maintains his position as rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for live shows. Smith begrudgingly admits he’s not as useless as initially declared.
What sound has arisen from this sonic marriage of opposite tones? There is a strong Neil Young and 80s indie rock influence (Dinosaur Jr., Psychedelic Furs, Dream Syndicate) with elements of power pop and mod sprinkled throughout various songs on the album. The STEAM TRAIN HEARTS glide with ease from the folk/country rock of “Seed Change” to the Austin Powers London swing of “Stay Classy” to the blistering guitars of upbeat rocker “Despair.”
Warning! This album contains freight train references; however, they are historically grounded as Dietz used to “ride the rails” in his college years, sometimes missing chunks of school when a train would veer off in the wrong direction. At his request, the rhythm guitar volume was elevated on the opening title track to simulate an undercurrent of rumbling. Down the line on the album, Dietz sings a tribute to Joe Strummer, laments the cruelty of self doubt in “Uncertainty,” and pokes fun at a certain President’s vanity in “Stay Classy.”
Fun fact about the group - STEAM TRAIN HEARTS double as a Joy Division tribute band. Sometimes they switch gears during live shows and throw in a classic number like “Transmission,” startling the unsuspecting audience.