Album review of Stay Positive by The Hold Steady released through Rough Trade.
The Hold Steady's breakthrough album Boys and Girls was released in 2006. Up until then they weren't really seen as a fashionable band, they combined Bruce Springsteen and Thin Lizzy, the mix was never seen as a very innovative one, maybe that's why it worked, the lack of cant in their music with weary mood and lyrics.
Last year the band were one of my highlights of Glastonbury Festival, now they deliver us 'Stay Positive' it's a definite progression from their last album 'Boys and Girls', the crunching guitars remind of Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday with added experimental tracks. Opener, Constructive Summer rocks hard, and includes the singalong chorus we've come to expect from The Hold Steady.
Sequestered in Memphis has a welcome addition of horns, while Lord I'm Discouraged includes a Slash-style solo to polish off its balladry. If you've tried and failed to get into the band before, this may be the album you need to really impress and make things happen for The Hold Steady.