The Hold Steady.

stay-positiveI read a review recently of The Hold Steady’s new album, Stay Positive. A couple of things stuck in my head that prompted me to run out to Newbury Comics; something about hardcore kids growing older and late-night parties. Within the span of a couple of weeks I was listeing to 2 CDs;  Boys and Girls in America and Stay Positive.  

This is the music that makes me want to start a band. It lives in that bohemian place where it’s still sexy and fun to drink too much and take too many drugs; that elusive place where it’s always 4:00 a.m. and the party is still rolling. “One for the Cutters” sums it up in the opening lines, “When there weren’t any parties, she’d park by the quarry, walk into the woods until she came to a clearing where townies would gather and drink until blackout, smoke cigs till they’re sick, pack bowls, and then pass out.”

But all fun and games come to an end and both albums tip thier hats to a quiet desperation. There’s a hint of trying to hold on to something that’s drifting just out of reach. Trying to recapture a moment that has passed you by. These songs are the stories that you tell with your buddies about parties from high school. The ones that live in your collective consciousness and become the suburban legends you carry into adulthood.

And The Hold Steady truly are the sound of hardcore kids growing up. The fact can’t be denied after one listen to “Stay Positive”, a nod to the hardcore of the late eighties and early nineties. It gave me a chill to hear 7 Seconds and Youth of Today name dropped on such a commericially viable album. It was a bitter sweet moment. I spent my teenage years wondering why the world didn’t know about these bands, while I’ve spent my adult live pleased that I’m the member of an elite club of people that still remember those days. I’m loath now to share those bands with the world. Nonetheless, to hear a chorus of “Oh-Whey-Hos” that could have been recorded by Naked Raygun in 1987 is a pleasure that I thought was lost.


~ by spinthis45 on November 22, 2008.

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