joeblog

Sunday, March 05, 2006

joeblog

joeblog

A while back Ange Mlinko mentioned a band she was hot about. I hadn't heard of The Hold Steady, even though they'd already been praised in ROLLING STONE (whatever that is worth). Not long after, my favorite local college station WMBR from MIT featured The Hold Steady in their Band of the Week spotlight. I was hooked immediately and soon picked up two of their discs: SEPARATION SUNDAY and ALMOST KILLED ME.

The Hold Steady is a garage/punkish outfit--one or two listens and their distinct jarring sound leaves an impression. They certainly don't fit into any commercial playlists up the dial from WMBR. But then again, anything is possible. This is a guitar heavy band, delicious, quirky riffs that thrash and bang their way into my bones. Chord progressions I may have heard before, but never quite like this. The songs are gritty and raunchy, with startling tempo shifts, and quick changes that turn the raucous to slight and subtle, then back. The singer urgently rages poetic lyrics like a machine gun and loads more words per line than seemingly possible. Hints of their ancestors abound--from the Velvets to Nirvana, Dylan to Bruce--but the noise is all The Hold Steady. Deez Guyz Rock!

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