Thrashing Thru the Passion

Thrashing Thru the Passion

In 2016, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay rejoined The Hold Steady, and the band put aside regular tours in favor of festival dates and residencies. Over time, new singles emerged—eventually leading to the release of the group’s seventh studio album, Thrashing Thru the Passion, in 2019. After putting out a total of two records in over a decade, The Hold Steady were back—like, back back. A snapshot of the band’s creative output during the years leading up to its release, Thrashing Thru the Passion is an exultant exploration of new ground, with the band members showcasing their extremely sturdy sea legs as a sextet. The result is a relaxed, joyful album on which every member of the band sounds like they’re having a great time. Populated by lead singer Craig Finn’s charmingly charred characters—like the titular “Blackout Sam”—not to mention references to The Rolling Stones and some big, horn-driven tracks, this album finds The Hold Steady in full swing (it’s also a welcome return to form, after a few missteps—or, to be kinder, misunderstood steps). Released 15 years years after the band’s debut, Thrashing Thru the Passion feels almost like a rebirth for the band, one that also shows off all the knowledge the bandmates have gained over the years. Once again, The Hold Steady is just getting started.

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