Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Hold Steady - Rock Problems

The Hold Steady's last album - 2008's Stay Positive - had all the familiar ingredients, but something about it just didn't feel right. That something may well have been the excessively muddy production, which pretty much suffocated the bar-band punch that was one of their main strengths. Fortunately, on 'Rock Problems', a taster from their upcoming fifth album Heaven is Whenever, the sound is clean, crisp and punchy again, with a rollicking, instantly memorable riff accompanying another of Craig Finn's tales of girls, parties and wasted youth.

The new album will be the first since keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay left the band in January. It's released on May 3rd through Rough Trade (or Vagrant in the U.S.).

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