Wait a While – The Hold Steady (2014)

Posted: June 13, 2014 in 2014, Songs By Year
Tags: , , , ,

I first heard about The Hold Steady when they were a recommended listen by a music website – you know ‘if you like this band, then you might like this band’. I was listening to some solo Paul Westerberg song and the site thought I would like this Brooklyn, NY band. While music-wise I hear no comparison whatsoever to Westerberg or The Replacements, I am definitely glad to have checked them out because I found a great band whose songwriting and musicianship continues to get stronger and stronger.

The single ‘Hurricane J’, along with ‘Our Whole Lives’, from their 2010 release HEAVEN IS WHENEVER first grabbed my attention, but overall the CD release was a little hit or miss for my tastes as far as strength of the songs. Regardless, I decided to check out their new release TEETH DREAMS which came out in March. Any hesitancy I had regarding the band being hit or miss completely vanished with the first listen. TEETH DREAMS is strong from start to finish and filled with catchy guitar melodies and riffs, crisp drum-playing, and the full, warm and clean production mix makes it one of the most enjoyable recordings I have heard in quite some time. But what really defines the band though is the intriguing lyrical story-telling by singer Craig Finn. Initially, I could not quite put my finger on who his slightly nasally voice reminded me of, but a cross between Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and Randy Newman is my answer. The beauty is Finn is a complete original with his literary lyrics and vocal phasing. I had a hard time narrowing down which song to highlight from this CD, because 4 or 5 songs from TEETH DREAMS really could make The List, but finally decided on ‘Wait a While’ which captures the bands’ sound and style at its best. Plus the fact the song has been a continual repeat play in my car. Hope you enjoy!

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