Frontman with Reigning Days, this singer is no slouch, having released 3 albums with the band he fronts. So as this eponymous affair is set for release, it should surely pose no difficulty; as I press play, what am I to expect? It is ‘Monster‘ that opens the album and comes in like a rising storm, activity stirring in the background until the storm breaks and the whole percussive side is brought to the fore, “Itchy eyes like blood on my nose, one hit and I’m out of control and I breathe you in, breathe out desperation…“, Steer being that desperate teller of the tale.
This is rock, but with a heady dose of pop applied – unlike his previous incarnation, it is far brighter and lacking the gothic tinge of Reigning Days. Is it a life experience that has changed this songwriter’s outlook? Love song after love song ensues, for example in ‘The Wire‘, Steer tells us that “…you are the wire burning through my veins, the fire sent to take my pain…“, a slightly more uplifting take, that still features the power chords that are familiar to RD. Although it does have to be pointed out that this singer’s experience does guide him when writing a song and his ability to creating earworms is left to no doubt. This is where he is meant to be, without question. ‘Green‘ for example not only features a strong foundation, but also visual lyricism that sits side by side, “…all my friends are turning green…“, is this an observation on life today, or where we all should consider moving, accompanied by a hook that could tear the skin of a rhinoceros.
Daniel Steer‘s career as a songwriter is well established and that is present here. Like any songwriter worth their salt, Steer also has the capability of writing sensitive numbers, where the tempo is taken down and like a Spandau Ballet number, tears at the emotions. ‘Sleep‘ now takes the listener to realms of songwriting-101 taking the audience to places they didn’t expect when embarking on a journey with this musician. Fear not, when ‘Modern Love‘ comes around we are back with the familiar Daniel Steer, pop-rock complete with his solid vocal presentation. Surprising as it may be, after many twists and turns, it is ‘Pictures‘ that completes the album. A tender number perhaps coming from the lips of a soldier, or maybe a father “…if I could tell you a secret, tell you I’m sorry, but I have to go…painting pictures of love.” Almost an anticlimax, as the album ends, but perhaps that’s the whole point. This has been a journey with Steer, that has passed through many emotions, ending on the one emotion that counts, love.