Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Hold Steady bring it to the kids

“I re-read On the Road by Kerouac a couple years ago, I saw this sentence, he is kind of talking about this farm girl he tried to make out with on a bus and she said no because he only knew her for like 20 seconds before that. And she goes ‘No, how can we? Stop.’ And he’s like, ‘Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.’ And I was like, ‘That is what my record is going to be about.’” (via Fader)

Whoever said rock ‘n roll is dead might rethink that thought after taking a listen to The Hold Steady’s fantastic new album Boys and Girls in America. The album, packed to the brim with power chords and fist pumps, is a revelation to the contemporary rock scene with enough youthful, adlib, social commentary to rub elbows with the Boss. In fact, Boys and Girls might be better played next to Springsteen and Petty than any other release of the last year. Unlike the Hold Steady’s previous albums, the piano is turned up, the mock organ is rocking like a sold out Cubs game, and singer Craig Finn has traded in his speak-sing for more of a sing-song execution. And with all that they still are able to bring the guitars back in like a sledge hammer swing for destruction.

Take a listen to the bookend pieces of Boys and Girls in America. Everything in between is just as good. When Brandon Flowers talked about making “the best record of the last twenty years,” Boys and Girls in America might be what he had in mind.

[mp3] The Hold SteadyStuck Between Stations
[mp3] The Hold SteadySouthtown Girls
Buy Boys and Girls in America at eMusic.

10/14/06 – Detroit Bar (tix)
10/16/06 – Troubadour (tix)

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