To the uninitiated, not unlike it’s predecessor, 2004’s Separation Sunday, Boys and Girls in America is at first listen quite the unassuming album. Full of loud bursts of guitars, bordering on pastiche keyboard fills, and leader Craig Finn’s bark, The Hold Steady come off as a seasoned bar band. It’s only on further examination that you decode the back alley poetry and creeping charm that make up the band. Paeans to drinking, love, misery, the streets, and the working class — The Hold Steady can at times seem like (albeit less depressing) an aural counterpart to a Bukowski short story.
What has been the most surprising (and refreshing) about The Hold Steady is the fact that they have been so accepted in contemporary music. Non-pretentious, un-ironic, bare bones rock & roll has not been fashionable in years and yet these guys are making it in today’s fickle rock landscape.
MP3: The Hold Steady :: Southtown Girls
MP3: The Hold Steady :: Chips Ahoy!
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Amazon: The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
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