Hippo Manchester
September 15, 2005

 Navigation

   Home Page

   Hippo Nashua

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer
   Grazing Guide

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

  Browse by Cover


CD Reviews
by Amy Diaz

The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday

French Kiss Records, 2005

***

Give Shawn Mullins a bottle of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes and put him in front of the E Street Band and you’ve got some sense of what you’re getting with The Hold Steady.

Craig Finn’s strained vocals yell the lyrics more than sing them. And, like a Bruce Springsteen shaped more by too much partying than economic tough times, Finn tells stories about hard, fast living over music that might very nearly be called classic rock. Sex with the wrong people, partying in the wrong town, attachments to the uncommitted — the songs are full of what might best be described as “tough breaks.” Songs like “Cattle and the Creeping Things,” “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” and “Stevie Nix” are full of sweaty, second-set energy. “Charlemagne in September” is one of the album’s most Springsteeny — filled with screw-you attitude and a sense of non-angry irony the Boss is a little too serious to exhibit.

Casually sexy in a way only few bands (Louis XIV, most recently) manage to be and seriously rocking, The Hold Steady are the house band at the world’s coolest dive bar.