As all five dedicated readers know, the Barrelhouse is all about the Hold Steady. We even published an interview with them by contributor extraordinaire Matt Bell in Issue 4. Let's just say, at first I was a little "meh" about the whole Hold Steady phenomenon, but then one day on my way to the metro a black van screeched up, four masked men grabbed me, injected me with knock out potion, threw me in, and screeched away. I awoke in a room, bound to a chair, blindfolded and gagged, and deprived of every sense except the one that would let me listen to the Hold Steady played at full volume. While the tapes were being rewound, a man sounding suspiciously like Dave would talk over background music about how the Hold Steady were rock n' roll's last great hope, that could appeal both to hipsters and
Central Middle American know nothings like me, Dave, Mike, Joe, Matt, Kylos, etc., that could unabashedly sound JUST like Bruce Springsteen and get away with it, because better for an adopted son of Bruce to try, than a real son to try and fail (see: Jakob Dylan). Being a pussy, Stockhold Syndrome set in right quick, and I was soon released into the wild, where I got to accompany my captors, I mean Dave and Steve Kistulentz, to the recent Hold Steady show at 930 Club. And it was good.
Even better, the Hold Steady is pairing up with the Drive By Truckers, which is so awesome i'm kind of afraid the world is gonna end soon after.
And now...to the point of the post! Even when I didn't know much about the Hold Steady, I got what they were all about. But this guy...well...not so much. However, his review is charmingly naive, and does kind of manage to be unintentionally brilliant by highlighting the new ground that the Hold Steady has broken despite sometimes sounding JUST like Bruce Springsteen. Money quotes:
I haven't even seen what Craig Finn looks like before but I'm going to guess because I think its funny if I'm 100% wrong, so I'm gonna go with a guy that wears mirrored aviators, chews tobacco, possibly has a mullet, wears a cowboy hat, has a friend named Butch, Spike or Tank.
Track three, "Your Little Hood Rat Friend", now as I'm listening to Craig Finn its almost like this crazy bastard is telling a story as he "sings" his songs.
Now I think this song has the best vocal performance by Finn. That is if you can call it a vocal performance, its really hard to explain like I said, but think the guy from Cake but he puts in just a tad more effort.
This is a pretty chill album too, but not so chill that I want to float off to sleep, one that I can enjoy and play while I'm winning the Stanley Cup playoffs in NHL2K5.