On his latest long-player, Steel City Trawler, Canadian rocker Luke Doucet – probably best known as part of Sarah McLachlan’s touring band – furnishes guitar-heavy journeyman rock numbers about life in industrialized Hamilton, Ontario, dubbed Steel City by residents. Doucet explores topics such as sleeplessness (Neil Young & Crazy Horse-esque “You Gotta Get It”), loneliness (classic rock thumper “Some of You Folks”), relationships (indie rocker “Love and a Steady Hand”) and inspiration: themes are credibly delved into through the viewpoint of a Hamilton local.

However, bland “Ballad of Ian Curtis” – a study of the iconic Joy Division singer – is less character sketch and more colorless rocker. Doucet also falters on an unconvincing, Ryan Adams-ish translation of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown.” The Digipak album, as opposed to the digital version, contains a 20-page graphic booklet by Robert Crumb-like artist David Collier, who illustrates Doucet’s lyrics via a vibrant tour of Hamilton: It provides a keen insight into Doucet’s working people narratives.

Grade: C

Steel City Trawler is currently available.