If you haven’t heard of The Hold Steady yet, you’re about to. The Brooklyn-based five piece’s fourth album “Stay Positive” is yet another well-crafted and emotionally poignant album, with piano and guitar solos galore, and chorus’s that you’ll want to hear over and over again.

“Stay Positive”
deals with more mature themes than previous release–this one is about kids growing up, and how to hang on the passion that got you there so far (hence the album title). Though they’ve only been together since 2004, they’ve made it to a great place so far in the industry. With a close following and critical success, The Hold Steady’s discography is just beginning.

Their third album, “Boys and Girls in America” (2006), is a fantastic record. It tells a story, one everyone knows so well. It’s a story of growing up in America, falling in love with your friends and the stupid, wonderful stuff that happens within all that.At least, I think it is.

Hey citrus, hey liquor
i love it when you touch each other
hey whiskey, hey ginger
i come to you with rigid fingers
i see Judas in the hard eyes
of the boys who worked in the corners
i feel Jesus in the clumsiness of young and awkward lovers

hey bar roommate tavern
i find hope in all the souls you gather
hey citrus, hey liquor
i love it when we come together
i feel Jesus in the clumsiness of young and awkward lovers
I feel Judas in the long odds of the rackets on the corners
I feel jesus in the tenements of honest, nervous lovers
I feel Judas in the pistols and the pagers that come with all the powders

lost in fog and love and faith was fear
and I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere
lost in fog and love and faith was fear
I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere
-The Hold Steady, Citrus
Boys and Girls in America

“Citrus,” an acoustic moment in an otherwise quite boisterous record, is a reflective moment with just the right amount of context. Great metaphor in this song–coming together like citrus and liquor. What a common combination and what a great comparison.

I love the line this record opens on–“There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right.” Right from the get-go you know these guys must have something to say if they’re referencing Jack Kerouac. And they’re so good at setting scenes, references to dimly lit bars or all-ages matinée hardcore shows.

More tastes of The Hold Shttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifteady, in all their classic rock-inspired deliciousness:

“First Night”

“Sequestered in Memphis”

Craig Finn’s gritty vocals, careful meter in every verse and great blues-rock piano are a powerful combination. Though they’ve only been around for a few years, they’ve gotten a fair amount of attention from music magazines, with numerous comparisons to Ameriana rock legends like Springsteen and Billy Joel for today’s kids (namely the ones that are still growing up).

Curious to see what happens in the wake of “Stay Positive,” a success so far with plenty of great reviews. Hopefully, they’ll retain their authenticity despite any amounts of success that come their way, because I think that’s what makes The Hold Steady such a standout sound in modern indie rock.

They don’t try to say anything other than what they seem to already be thinking about, and in their growing fan base, they seem to be creating the “unified scene” they keep singing about. I’m pretty sure they’ve even made t-shirts with the phrase on it by now. Keep singing about the kids at shows, and pretty soon they’ll hear what you’re saying.