Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Bible References Than A Christian Rock Band

It is to my constant shame that it was not until 2007 that I bought my first Hold Steady album which was "Boys and Girls in America". Filled with more pop references than should be possible it also managed to intertwine rampant drug taking, violence and bizarrely enough Catholicism. Craig Finn obviously never heeded the call of Mr. Russel or Mr. Dawkins although that being said it is a unique brand of religious fervour.

The songs filled with tales of Charlemagne, Gideon and Holly flow from album to album maintaining a narrative through-out each album. None more so than "Separation Sunday" charting an epiphany of sorts culminating in "How A Resurrection Really Feels". It does echo the work of The Replacements and Bruce Springsteen and even going back to the books of F Scott Fitzgerald and the questioning of the American Dream. While Bruce sang of leaving the badlands, Finn speaks of pills, hazy memories and celebrating the scene.

The Hold Steady have been on a upward trajectory since "Almost Killed Me" was released with their most recent offering "Stay Positive" producing classic hooks and sing along choruses. A mix of wordy lyrics and rock music... in a word BRILLIANT

5 Steps with The Hold Steady
The Swish ("Almost Killed Me")
Your Little Hoodrat Friend ("Separation Sunday")
First Night ("Boy and Girls In America")
Chips Ahoy ("Boys and Girls In America")
Stay Positive ("Stay Positive")

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