The Hold Steady

Album Title: 
Teeth Dreams
Release Date: 
Friday, March 21, 2014
Review Type: 

My first acquaintance with this Brooklyn based New York Rock band, came with the 2007 re-issue (with bonus live/ acoustic mini-CD) of their 2006 album Boys And Girls In America (expended review with history of the band up to that point posted 24/12/2007; the original album being reviewed by then-colleague Trik – review posted 10/02/2007...both still available in the “Archives” section of this here website). Regretfully, that's also my most recent contact with the band, which leaves me with the task of relating the band's history since then...

In short, the band released their forth studio album Stay Positive in 2008 (garnered only one single with the title track, issue din 2009), and followed that up with the live recorded A Positive Rage, a year later. 2010 not only saw the release of the 5th studio album Heaven Is Whenever (which also only garnered one single), but also found longtime member Franz Nicolay (keyboards, accordion, harmonica) depart for other horizons on amicable terms (he was looking to progress, whereas the other members were quite glad to play and continue The Hold Steady to its natural end). For touring purposes during that year, the band also enlisted third guitarist Steve Selvidge and keyboardist Dan Neustadt (of In Cadeo and The World/ Inferno Friendship Society), whom had already contributed to the album. A new keyboardist was not recruited after his departure from the touring band in early 2011. Selvidge was officially added to the line-up in 2011. Further releases by the band include the iTunes Live From Soho EP (released in 2011), the Criminal Fingers single (issued in 2013), and the EP RAGS (released recently in 2014 – I have no actual release date though, and cannot therefore confirm whether the thing was released prior to the new album, or not)! On the side, the band contributed the song “Both Crosses” to the 2009 Live At KEXP Volume 5 compilation album, had their song “Just Saying” on the 2011 soundtrack of the feature movie The Dilemma, and recorded “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” (with lyrics by George R. R. Martin) for inclusion in the soundtrack of the 3rd season (2013) of the TV series Game Of Thrones (a 7-inch for the track was released on Record Store Day). People interested in more details on the band's history, should by all means consult their page on Wikipedia.

Which brings me full circle back to the current album...which still shows some sings of inclusion of keyboards sounds in several of the songs, in spite of no-one being credited for it in the download promo's info sheet, nor on the band's website and affiliated sites! For a bit of music off this album, you're best to surf to the band's own (http://) : in the “Music” section you'll find reference to the band's studio albums and their Amazon pages, allowing you to listen to 30-second samples of all songs...but really you're better off checking the “Video” section, where not only will you find a teaser trailer for the album, but also the official lyrics video for the song “Spinners”, and a normal video for the album opening track “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You” (long title, but a truly excellent is the rest of the album, by the way!) alongside 8 more videos done for older albums.

Expect great multi-layered Rock with Pop sensitivities, with very nice lead guitar passages (which will enthrall even the most one-sighted Metal or Punk fan, simply because the music played is so darn expressive), and a lead singer with an oddly attractive hoarse voice. Quite simply put, a studio album by this band is well worth the dough you have to cough up for it, and I'm certain that many a more seasoned music lover will agree full-heartedly with my placing of Teeth Dreams in my “Best Albums Of 2014”-lists!