Blokeishness gets a slicker makeover on the Brooklyn band's sixth album
Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady have never shied away from the classic end of the rock spectrum. On their sixth album, however, they advance on their trademark blokeishness to embrace a beefier and slicker kind of guitar-led groove. Coming on like mid-period Foo Fighters played by a gang of congenial tree surgeons, the album kicks off with the massive ‘I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You’. Stacked full of festival-sized riffs, singer/guitarist Craig Finn is on mean and fiery form. Downtempo balladry also gets a look-in, with the ‘The Ambassador’ providing a thoughtful counter to the electrified Americana anthems of ‘The Only Thing’ and ‘Wait Awhile’.