Separation Sunday

The Hold Steady

Separation Sunday

The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn could never have stayed in Minneapolis. His big mouth was destined to get him into trouble. So off to Brooklyn he went with fellow former Lifter Puller guitarist Tad Kubler and established this brutal sextet. Together they marshal AC/DC power riffs to go along Finn’s Mark E. Smith-like storytelling about what Midwestern life meant to him. But where the Fall’s post-punk uses Smith’s rants to increase the alienation rate, Finn offers up tall tales and hard-luck stories about people he can’t stop observing and wishes deep down he could love. Sometimes it’s the drug addict who tells him “there’s gonna be a time when I’m gonna have to go with whoever’s gonna get me the highest” on “Hornets! Hornets!” or the vague drug and religious conversions that haunt the life of “Stevie Nix,” leading Finn to exhort “Lord to be 33 forever!” Overall, Finn is caught up in details that no amount of talking can get him out of. But then that’s what his crack back-up band is for.

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