In the past, Luke Doucet made a name for himself as a dark and talented singer songwriter. On Steel City Trawler Doucet breaks from this reputation, trading melancholy folk music for up beat talk-singing and heavy guitar riffs.
The album immediately shows a great deal of dynamic range. It starts out with a pair of energetic electric guitar-based songs and then Doucet throws the listener a curve ball with "Monkeys," which combines Ben Folds style singing with strong drums to create a tongue-in-cheek vibe.
Sandwiched in the middle of the album are a couple of mellow songs that see Doucet revisit the style of his older material. "Hey Now" showcases some fine acoustic guitar playing and has a wonderful harmonic chorus. On "Magpie" Doucet presents his dark side playing in a style Elliot Smith would be proud of.
The rest of the album is packed with fun high-energy rock songs. Songs like "Sundown" and "Love" and "Dusted" harken back to the style of the songs that began the album with lots of electric guitar, drums and energy.
Overall, it's commendable that Doucet is trying to do something new, but long-time fans may be disappointed to see him stray from his roots.