Thursday, January 23, 2014

"I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"- The Hold Steady

It's almost redundant for the Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn to be touting a "big rock record" with Teeth Dreams, the band's 6th LP. Since their debut with 2004's Almost Killed Me, that's the only sort of album they've made. Hold Steady efforts arrive overstuffed with barbarous guitars, doleful keyboards, chugging bass, and rat-a-tat drums. Craig Finn's lyrics are best described as character studies, sifting through America's trash for narrative treasure.

First single "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" sobers up the band's take on bloozy rock without sacrificing any of the intensity. Though the guitars shimmer like never before, Finn's still ashen gray in his outlook. "Most of them are dead and some don't even live here anymore," he reflects on his old stomping ground of Minneapolis. The denizens of Finn's world chase scores like Olympic track-stars and fall in-and-out of love by closing time. "They always got something to prove" he postulates over reflective organ in his unmistakable sing-song. Where forerunners of the "big rock record" like Springsteen were itching to "get out while we're young," Finn sympathizes too much to ever bid full farewell. And when he arrives home, it'll be as a survivor not a hero.

Teeth Dreams is out March 25th on Washington Square, and you can hear "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" here.

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