Halloween is on the horizon, but Nashville space-country duo Steelism are getting into the spirit a little early with the release of the surprise new Superhero Themes EP. The centerpiece of the three-song effort is a hard-charging, riff-heavy take on “Batman Theme,” the title song of the sixties TV show, Batman, originally composed by Neal Hefti.
In line with Steelism’s typical psych-twang experimentation, guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum Jr. dress up the original tune’s surf-rock groove with squalls of swirling fret acrobatics, while drummer Jon Radford and bassist Jon Estes propel the fiery instrumental with a thunderous supporting rhythm.
Former Deer Tick keyboardist Robbie Crowell also contributed to the EP’s recording, which took place at Nashville’s Battle Tapes studio. In addition to the theme song cover, the short new release also features two Batman-centric originals: the retro-minded “The Dynamic Duo,” which sounds ready to soundtrack a vintage spy show, and “Dark Knight,” a spooky, hypnotic slow jam with trippy, patient guitar licks.
Next week Steelism will resume touring with My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, who’s hitting the road behind his new solo release Wished Out. During the upcoming shows, which include a Halloween night stop at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, Colorado, Steelism will open the night and then play with Broemel as his backing band.