Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel – s/t (album review)

by Woody on November 1, 2019

Brooklyn’s Bethlehem Steel have upped their game on their sophomore album. Fronted by Rebecca Ryskalczyk the album packs more of a wallop than their debut. Sponge opens the proceedings; Ryskalczyk methodically speak-singing over a bass chord before the song explodes in fits throughout. The tracks pulls out you from every direction like Melkbelly’s best tracks. I was fucking exhausted by the end of that track; I felt like I had ingested an album’s worth of material (and I mean that as a positive).

My favorite track follows next. Govt Cheese. Melissa Puerto, the new full-time fourth member, lends a hand on the vocals. The track deals with self-belief and the need to take care of yourself in the face of adversity. It softens the edges from Sponge while still rocking. A couple of tunes later, Couches downshifts a bit with some cello added the mix – a product of Melissa Puerto’s full-time position. At this point, I’m four songs in; I’ve loved every track and love the variety. The back end doesn’t disappoint either. Bad Girl is probably the most “radio friendly” track they have on the album. The album closes out with New Dark, an ominous sounding track where Ryskalczyk does some of her best vocal work on either album.

So in conclusion. This band rips. Their second album is better than their first, showing some real nice growth. I can’t wait for the third.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Bethlehem Steel is here

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Montana Elliot

Bethlehem Steel are the Brooklyn trio of Rebecca Ryskalczyk (vocals/guitars), Jon Gernhart (drums) and Patrick Ronayne (bass). Their debut, Party Naked Forever, gets up in your face in a bold manner and never lets go.

The trio makes quite the racket, delivering a brand of brash fuzzy rock inspired by the 90s. Ryskalczyk’s vocals combine the confessional nature of Katie Crutchfield with the ferocity of Miranda Winters. She has a ton of range; always melding to the vibe of the tune.

The opener Alt Shells sees Ryskalczyk has some blistering guitar work as Ryskalczyk sings of dealing with depression. I don’t want to say she makes light of a disease that cripples thousands but she does it a manner that shows that sometimes it easy to almost self-sabotage yourself in a funk that paralyzes. My description might not come across well but it is a really well crafted tune and message.

Finger It Out was inspired by the passing of Annie Elverum. The track that follows couldn’t be any more timely in Untitled Entitlement. Ryskalczyk delivers her message sternly and it packs a wallop.

Bethlehem Steel certainly delivered on their first LP. Bummed I missed them on their recent trip to Chicago. Going to need to rectify that at some point,

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Bethlehem Steel is here

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