I’m listening to The Hold Steady a lot these days. I know I’m kinda late on the bandwagon. I was scared off by all those people saying “Ah, they’re just Springsteen wannabes”. I mean, I checked ‘em out first, of course; unfortunately the track I heard was “Stuck Between Stations”, which is the most Bruce-alicious song on the new(ish) album. So, I passed.
I don’t recall now what it was that made me go back and give ‘em another shot, but I’m glad I did. Yeah, there’s a bit of a Bruce thing going on, but it’s not nearly as pronounced as I was first led to believe. It’s really down to two things: the verbose nature of Craig Finn’s lyrics, and the piano/organ stylings of mustachioed keyboard dude Franz Nicolay, and the anthemic nature of most of their music. OK, that’s three things. Really, though, the Bruce comparisons aren’t really all that accurate. And The Replacements thing… both bands have/had members from Minneapolis, both bands write/wrote about getting loaded. That’s about it. Science Girl says she hears The Jam in there. Me, I just hear a really good rock & roll band.
So anyway, I really dig ‘em. Snagged both Boys and Girls in America and Separation Sunday from eMusic, and both rock like all get out.