While everyone is buzzing about the new Springsteen album Magic (I ordered but haven’t heard all of it yet), I want to direct your attention to a band that reminds me a great deal of The Boss of old: The Hold Steady
Pitchfork Media, which called The Hold Steady "America’s #1 bar band," gave the album a Rating: 9.4. My favorite part of their review:
"It’s no wonder that critical darlings the Hold Steady aren’t exactly indie rock heroes. Marginalized to that world almost by default– radio and video are, for the most part, unkind to new rock bands not targeted at high-schoolers — the Hold Steady craft classic rock-indebted music that would sound better sandwiched between Born to Run and Back in Black than Illinois and Tigermilk . . .
[Frontman] Criag Finn does this is by ratcheting up the force and power of the music, layering guitar and trebly keys and multiple hooks on top of one another like a mid-1970s E Street Band or an E-boosted Happy Mondays. It’s rock’n’roll before it was ashamed to do either, and unlike on past efforts, lyrics can sometimes be summed up by lines that approximate the effect of a chorus, even if they’re presented more like a thesis statement: "I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere," "When they kiss they spit white noise," the aforementioned "Gonna walk around and drink some more."
That sounds just about right to me. Other reviewers have also been enthusiastic:
Rolling Stone: "…bizarrely touching and insanely original."
SPIN" "a raucous album rife with heavy guitar licks and more cultural references than Paul’s Boutique."
Pitchfork: "One of the most convincing rock bands to emerge in recent years…unadulterated aggression and ear-splitting amps."
You can see more about the disc here boysandgirlsinamerica.com.
There’s a good interview with the band, and an acoustic version of Chips Ahoy at NPR (which is very unlike the production sound of this disc).
Stuck Between Stations
The full run of "authorized" videos are here.