Sound: Craig Finn’s husky and coarse vocals suck you into his gripping and specific tales of drug use, drinking, partying, dysfunctional boy/girl relationships and life…while the band plays good ol’ rock and roll with a loose, live, soulful feel and rebellious spirit. The swirling organ, nimble piano and blaring horns can give The Hold Steady a Springsteen/Black Crowes feel, but they’ve got more punk attitude.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Chips Ahoy!”; “Hot Soft Light”; “Party Pit”
Medium Rotation tracks: The rest
Explicit Lyrics*: Nothing FCC-restricted, but lots of drug and some sex references.
Recommended: Last year’s Separation Sunday broke them to a wider audience and for very good reason. Though Boys and Girls In America may not be quite as intense, I think it’s more consistent from start to finish, more relaxed and fun, and just as captivating lyrically.
* Noting of explicit lyrics is for the benefit of radio music directors or anyone else that needs/wants to keep their music FCC-friendly.