For You My Dear is the Drive-Thru debut of New Jersey's Steel Train. The band takes a different tack than most in the label's stable -- while vocalist Scott Irby Ranniar and guitarist/vocalist Jack Antonoff seem just as lovelorn as their peers, the duo's sound is largely acoustic, and quite baroque at that. Their Beatles worship is strong; the title track pays homage to "Dear Prudence" with the shameless joy of youth. Meanwhile "W. 12th" is a rustic instrumental with a quiver full of plucked strings -- it's so dignified it could almost be a recital piece. Yes, this EP is an introduction to what the band does. But this sort of thing still seems rather showy, a calculated move to establish Steel Train as Important Artists ("How young! How erudite!"). Fortunately, the release's other half better fuses modern references to classic influences. "Blown Away" steals a page from the Strokes with its treated vocals, before breaking into a wonderful piano solo bridge. Best might be "Alley Cat," with its tradeoff harmonies and brooding, wandering bassline. It's Steel Train's most original song, and suggests strong things to come.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus