Steve McNaughton's passionate songwriting and powerful lyrics are capturing the world's imagination.
Radio stations in the U.S.A., Germany, New Zealand and Australia have really taken to Steve's "Stalingrad Still Stands" & "Hold Me Tonight".
Being covered by legendary Australian rocker, Swanee, "I Did What I Did" is the culmination of a distinguished career.
In 1992, Steve first received recognition when his single "Homecoming (You've Come Back Home)" debuted on Australian radio. Since then, a further 6 compositions have hit the airwaves not only in Australia but also throughout Europe, United States and South America.
"It's not before time that Steve's music has come out of the basement and onto the airwaves"....Jim Shipstone (Sir James Music and former MD of BMG).
A mainstay and highlight of many recent Big Backyard sampler CD's, Steve has also written songs for television, (including "Must be Love" for a Cystic Fibrosis awareness campaign), for sporting heroes and "Guardian Angels" written for Curtis Sliwa, to honor his New York street and subway guardians.
Steve McNaughton’s second album and 3rd CD, is probably his best to date, with songs that encompass solid radio-friendly hooks, and some definite groove and attitude! The opening title-track ‘Storm Chaser’ was inspired by Scott Currens and other storm chasers. It is a high energy rock song that fully captures the fury of nature when the plains turn violent across the United States’ mid-west.
The associated music video clip gives a unique insight into the chasers’ pursuits when the weather hots up. ‘Gimme Something’ is a simple but brilliant pub rocker which forcefully puts the question you ask of someone who’s been screwing you long term! The style of ‘The Devils in the Detail’ is distinctly The Who, yet the album keeps you guessing with some Motown numbers featuring excellent saxophone.
Other tracks of note include the smooth blues styled ‘Dreaming’ which showcases Angus Steventon’s keyboard playing, and the slightly funky/reggae ‘Ode to Odette’. There is also the anthem-like ‘Eyes of a Child’ and the classic rock song ‘Can’t Rock Any Harder’.
Hardly Softly Rock:
1. Believe In Me
2. Stalingrad Still Stands
3. Is It Over
4. Didn't Mean It
5. I Did What I Did
6. Hold Me Tonight
7. Can't Be Denied
8. Somebody's Crying
9. Be Strong
10. Homecoming (You've Come Back Home)
11. Find Your Soul
Sydney Olympic City:
1. Sydney You're So Beautiful
2. Excellence From Every Land
3. Great Southern Land
4. This Is Australia
1. Storm Chaser
2. Gimme Something
3. The Devil's in the detail
4. Don't Tell Momma
5. Crawl Before You Walk
6. Can't Rock any Harder
8. Third Wave
9. Ode to Odette
11. Save Tonight
12. Eyes of a Child
Crawl Before You Walk
Didn't Mean It
When you've got it good
One more shot
Under the sycamore
[+ Show ]
By Gavin Fitzgerald First up on the CD is the title track “Stormchaser”, with its swirling synt...
By Gavin Fitzgerald
First up on the CD is the title track “Stormchaser”, with its swirling synth and crash cymbals is very storm evocative. There’s a heightened sense of something big coming, Very 80’s in its approach, almost Hall & Oates in tones, it grooves along nicely. Very well produced, it evokes thoughts of Toto at their best. A very hooky chorus begs you to sing along. This will be a good one for when the news, or documentaries feature storms, etc. I like the synth hook as it really grips the memory. Good melodies especially against the back-beat jazz guitar riff. Still felt it needed to go somewhere really different to make the outro chorus appealing to me in its return. Then it would be the perfect pop song ready for the markets.
The staccato over-driven rock guitar start of “Gimme Something” grabs the listener already. It’s an insistent chordal riff that fits nicely beneath the lyrical journey. It suits Steve’s vocal well. The pre-chorus is great lift, guiding the listener’s emotions into the chorus. A definitely well crafted song in a rocky new wave Elvis Costello vein. The chorus is very hooky and singalongable. Some nice tasty lead guitar in the solo, which leads well into the pre-chorus, chorus outro. You can imagine a whole crowd singing along with this great song!
“The Devil’s In The Detail” has a “Who” like start with rolling drums and driven guitar. The lyrics flow nicely over the rock rhythm, Laid back in a laconic rock way the song has Dylanesque story lines, with a Tom Petty feel to it. I say Dylanesque as the images of reading contracts is very graphical and has many messages in it. A song for a busy businessman! Or for anyone about to make a big decision, even marriage! A great hook chorus, which I keep on singing. I like the line “It’s always buyer beware.” Top song!
I like the groove at the start of “Don’t Tell Mama” as it really kicks along with a blues rock feel, which really cooks! Head nodding, toe tappin’ stuff as the guitar riff and horns do their stuff. Almost 50’s do-wop feel to the verses, then the chorus is once again singalongable making you want to join in with “Don’t Tell Mama”. I’d love to hear this live, although it would be hard with the sax and horns. Cool, really rocks, one of the best blues rock songs I’ve heard in ages, absolute classic. Although the repeat of the “Sometimes in my bedroom..” section seems a bit too much twice. Maybe the second time pull right back and double up the “Don’t Tell Mama” as an outro. Lots of good stuff in this song.
Once again the brass kicks arse in the start of “Crawl Before You Walk” which then breaks into a ska bluebeat feel. Once again a top pre-chorus (Something Steve seems particularly good at!) leading into a superbly hooky chorus. You’ve definitely got the goods here, Steve! Think The Travellin’ Wilburys, When Roy Orbinson sang to get an idea of the tone. Sax solo is great and a good break to lead into the chorus. I fell the third verse needs something else behind it, maybe an organ swell to differentiate it. But that could be a personal thing in the perfect soul pop song.
If this is not a hit, or if someone doesn’t cover it, the world is definitely nuts! One of the best I’ve ever heard on an SSA member’s CD, I’d buy this album just for this song!!!!!!!!!!! Brilliant and stunning, I’m up dancing to it.
Santana doing blues was the feel I had to the start of “Dreaming”. Laid back, cool, breezy, chill out rock flow. Hmmm, nice, in an almost Savoy Brown undertone. Love the rolling bass. Then the lyrics come and fit perfectly with ideas espoused well in the song structure. A song for dreamers who need no drugs, nor booze, but get high on the possibilities. The piano solo has a Doors like approach, which is really cool. Love this song also, especially the really flavoursome blues guitar. Hmmm, nice! I’ll dream along as well mate, this one is a good one to have some whiskey to. Another brilliant album cut that’s up and world class. Way cool, Steve.
“Ode to Odette” has a funky beat to it, before the great sax envelopes the eardrums. It then slides easily into a ska dance that UB40 would be proud of. I dare you not to feel the rhythm of this one in your body! As well, the “Oh, Odette” hook is intensely persuasive and hooky! The lyrical and vocal feel once again has that Roy Orbinson tone to it. I like the little sax bits, before the almost rap-like staccato verses jump in perfectly. Then it’s back to the easy flow of the pre-chorus to chorus, with a really soulful essence that suits Steve’s vocal perfectly. Get up and dance once again! I love reggae and this has that feel along with the ska edge. “Oh, Odette” really cooks, with an almost African harmony a la Paul Simon, who’s have been proud to have done this one. Even has flavours of Chris Isaac’s in there as well. Another definite hit, or the world has no taste! I’m still bouncing along to this!
Almost military drumming in the vein of the theme for “Top Gun” starts off “Eyes Of A Child”. Foot stomping rhythm with a message. Great chorus that could be sung by a multitude, which the backing harmonies allude to. Could be a great theme song for a world wide charity. Universal ideas and thoughts encapsulated in one song. The juxtaposition of innocence against the real world. Brilliant chorus, especially in the outro repeats, which nails it into your subconscious.
So “Wow!”, what a killer album and an extreme pleasure to review. This must be one of the best I have reviewed in my fifteen years as an editor, if not the best. Most of the material is world class, the production is stunning overall I suggest that you buy it! I do a lot of reviews and some can be a grind, but not “Stormchaser”, which I feel privileged to be able to review! Songs like “Crawl Before You Walk”, “Dreaming”, “Ode to Odette” and “Eyes of a Child”, very definitely stand out and shine light spotlights. Some of these deserve to be hits!! It’s also great to hear what A# Studios can do as well as how Turtle Rock is mastering. So many thanks, Steve, for allowing me to be able to review such a killer album!