The Cleveland Steamers to Release Their Third Album Next Week

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SMOG VEIL RECORDS
  • Smog Veil Records
Given his past as the bassist in the Pink Holes, one of Cleveland’s most outrageous punk acts, you’d expect a band featuring Cheese Borger on bass and vocals to be abrasive if not obnoxious.

But that’s not the case with the Cleveland Steamers. The group’s previous two albums were accessible affairs, and the same goes for the latest offering, Best Record Ever, which arrives on May 4 on Smog Veil Records. The album commences with "See You Tonight," a rollicking number with a '60s garage-pop feel to it.



Borger’s wife, Meredith Rutledge-Borger, shares vocal duties. On the eerie “Dream of Me,” one of the album's many highlights, she sounds particularly ominous.

"I’m a big fan of noir drama kind of music like [composer Angelo] Badalamenti and space jazz — stuff that’s atmospheric and smokey. I was thinking a lot about some of my favorite singers, like Dusty Springfield and Hope Sandoval," she says in a press release announcing the album’s release.



Cleveland Steamers initially formed at the request of local punk rocker Lair Matic, who wanted a band to record a few last songs after he was diagnosed with cancer in early 2011. In addition to Borger, he recruited Nick Summa (Floyd Band, 45 Spider) and Steve-O (Death Of Samantha). Nick Knox of the Cramps, the late Mike Hudson of the Pagans, John D Morton of electric eels and X___X and Johnny Dromette of Drome Records have contributed to the recordings as well.

Cullen O'Connor and Emmett O'Connor from the locally based Archie and the Bunkers play on the new album along with local saxophonist Marianne Friend.

"My grandpa was employed at the Collinwood rail yard as a steam engine mechanic back in the late 1940s," Borger says in explaining the origin of the band's name. "Along with some co-workers, he was part of a legendary bowling team that dominated leagues in the area for a good six years and made quite a bit of money on some shady head to head matches legend has it. They were called ‘The Cleveland Steamers.’"

The album was recorded and produced by Ryan Foltz (Rancid, Tim Armstrong, 45 Spider, Dropkick Murphys) at Cleveland Audio in 2016 and 2017.

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