What Is Punk Rock? I Think Steal The Day Has The Answer To That.
I am not going to lie, it has taken me time to get accustomed to punk and heavy rock. But one day, it clicked with me, it made sense. Emotion is one of the main instruments that people overlook when focusing on artists’ writing and music capabilities in this arena. And the energy in this area of music is simply not found elsewhere.
Punk rock has been favored less in the public sphere and the younger generation, especially today’s music landscape. Regardless of your preference, these arenas of the Rock genre have launched great music and quality-filled lyrics. And I do believe that Steal The Day’s new single NORWAY hits that spot in quality.
Hailing from Orlando, the band Steal The Day has been releasing music since 2019. With their first EP Identity showcasing their flexibility of melodies and lyric appeal, they are influenced by bands such as A Day to Remember, Neck Deep, Knuckle Puck [the latter two have a join EP]. The band is led by Jesse, with Noah on the drums, Douglas on the bass, and Greyson with the guitar. With a couple of singles and an EP, traction has been revving up over the last year or so, and I am sure that once they gain more followers, the craving for an album will come soon enough.
To jump in, Norway starts with lo-fi electronic glitches, reminiscent of Bring Me the Horizons’ Sempiternal album, and we quickly get punched with drums and guitars firing at 100 mph. The frontman, Jesse, starts off strong, staying grounded and in melody, whether it is his front or background vocals. His vocals surprisingly glide effortlessly between higher and lower octaves (especially in the “growlier” background vocals).
Some songs tend to shove all the way in the back the drums and cymbals, but I want to give thanks for Norway not doing so (especially at the 2:30 mark), shifting equal attention to all instrumentations while creating a punching energy through the entire track. The last 30 seconds is this big climax that should have lasted a few seconds more, but nonetheless, it is better to have a climatic ending than none.
With so much instrumentation and layers of vocals, this is not one of those tracks where a specific detail is fighting for attention, and to that I applaud at the production of this track.
Personally, Norway is a journey of a man being sold a dream that has, unfortunately, become a lie. That man (our front-man) is spiraling down into darkness over this reveal. It can also be an allusion to being disappointed with your own failure or downfall. The American dream is explicit in the lyrics, and as stated, just as we have become wary of this concept, we can also become wary of our own dreams and goals, only to suffer more when we crash and burn.
That “I built you up just to be broke down once, again I’m the clown” line in the chorus not only threw me for a loop, but it is merely relevant for today’s climate. People individually set high standards towards things they admire, whether it be people or ideas. And once the downfall occurs, we feel like we have drowned and cannot break past the surface.
In the interlude and bridge, we see our subject breakdown. Things get so intense that there is no point in return; he embraces the burn, stares at the gun’s barrel, and takes it. The pain is what has given him experience and a story to tell. Yet, in the final breakdown, our subject tries to provide himself with a final try and states that he has the world on his shoulders. I found it interesting that while Jesse speaks in the first person, the last line is written in the second person; is he talking to himself, or is someone telling him this?
Norway’s sonic flexibility is excellent due to being rooted in post-hardcore rock. Still, the cardinal song structure allows newcomers of the genre and the band to appreciate it. Lately, there is a shift of following trends, but Steal The Day is clear that they are influenced by the classics of their arena, and they want to build from that to be trailblazers and be the best they can be. And I’m sure they will be.
Do you agree with my assessment? Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments. You can support the band by streaming or purchasing Norway with the link-tree below.