Wim S. : I am afraid that I will be very brief about 'Under Concrete', the debut album of the Italian rockers Urban Steam. The guys have been busy since 2012 but so far they only released a demo in 2015. And now there is finally - for them - the debut. Are we, as listeners, happy too? No, unfortunately not.
It is typically a sympathetic album. You hear four Italian gentlemen desperately trying their best; you hear passion and enthusiasm. But what I also hear is that the song material is not good enough. That the recording quality is not what you might expect (so from the first moment on it is difficult to really take the album seriously) and that singer Paolo Delle Donne sings English with a gigantic Italian accent; that too is not conducive to quality. Yes, occasionally I hear a nice idea ('They Live' and the title track) but it is mainly the somewhat subdued songs like 'Soul' and 'City Lights' in which the band show their lack of quality. They simply are not good enough. Eight self-written songs from a rock band from Italy, which name bands like Rush, Toto, Extreme, Dave Matthews Band and Bruce Springsteen as their influences. Right. I do not hear it, but that does not matter.