The Hold Steady — Thrashing Thru the Passion (Aug. 16, 2019) The Hold Steady — Thrashing Thru the Passion (Aug. 16, 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)•⊆⊇•
Formed: 2004 in Brooklyn, NY
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: August 16, 2019
Record Label: Washington Square/Razor & Tie
Duration:     35:38
01. Denver Haircut   3:02 
02. Epaulets   2:48 
03. You Did Good Kid    4:09
04. Traditional Village   2:48 
05. Blackout Sam   4:52
06. Entitlement Crew   3:45 
07. T~Shirt Tux   3:58 
08. Star 18   3:14
09. The Stove & The Toaster   3:34 
10. Confusion In The Marketplace   3:28
•⊆⊇•     Just after the new year, we headed up to Woodstock to The Isokon studio to record some new songs. We were joined by Producer Josh Kaufman and Engineer D. James Goodwin, who have helped us record everything we’ve done for the past few years.
•⊆⊇•     It was a highly productive session, we pretty much just set up and cranked through the songs. The songs came together quickly and we were psyched on how they sounded. Overdubs happened back in Brooklyn, with our friends Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean adding horns and Annie Nero doing some backup vocals.
•⊆⊇•     We thought “Denver Haircut” sounded like the first track on a record. “Blackout Sam” sounded like it should close an album side. In fact, these five songs together sounded like a cool A side of an album. So, after D. James Goodwin mixed the songs, we decided to put them together with some of our favorite songs we'd recorded in the past few years and make it an album. We pondered a track list for a bit, had our friend Dave Gardner master it, and here it is. We call it Thrashing Thru The Passion, which is taken from a line on “You Did Good Kid.”
•⊆⊇•     I’ve remarked for a while now that this six~piece lineup of THS is the best we’ve ever had. It’s not really even negotiable. And fifteen years in, I believe that we are making some of our very best music. We’ve come to a place that feels both fun and vital. When I listen to these songs, I feel a sense of joyfulness — I hear friendship, community, positivity and a love of rock and roll music. This band has changed all of our lives, and it continues to make changes. Good ones.
•⊆⊇•     A lot of things have changed since we started in 2003. We’ve changed the way we approach touring, opting for multi show weekends in bigger cities rather than the skullduggery of month long slogs. This is more realistic for where we are at now, and we’ve also found it to make the band much more musical. More of our time together is spent playing and performing music than setting up and taking down gear, driving it to the next place, setting it up again. Also, these runs of shows have reinforced what an amazing community exists around this band, and how it keeps growing. All in all, making this change to the way we approach shows has given a new life to the band.
•⊆⊇•     We’ve also made changes in how we release music. In late 2017, we dropped “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake in the Shower” as a surprise before our second annual Massive Nights run at the Brooklyn Bowl. We made it available on Bandcamp, with a suggested donation that raised money for a charity. We’ve repeated that a number of times now, dropping these digital singles just before a run of shows. It’s been fun to release music this way, it feels almost like a new episode of a serial. It also allowed us to escape some of the promotional obligations that come with releasing a full LP. In short, it keeps things exciting and fresh.
•⊆⊇•     This time, with Thrashing Thru The Passion, we have released an album with five new songs and five that have been previously released digitally. That felt right this time. We can’t say what we will do next time, but with the recording industry where it is in 2019, it feels wide open. We will continue to take the advice Paul Stanley offered on the classic Kiss song, “Room Service,” and do what we feel.
•⊆⊇•     We are very proud to present Thrashing Thru The Passion. We are lucky and honored to have such a great community around this band, and we appreciate you being a part of it.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine | Score: ★★★★
♠      Reconvening for a full album for the first time in a half decade, the Hold Steady do sound a bit older on Thrashing Thru The Passion — an evolution they do not attempt to hide at all, which is to their benefit. It’s not so much that the group no longer cranks their amplifiers until they bleed and push the tempo to the point Craig Finn has to rush to spit out his words, although those are developments that are hard to ignore. It’s that the Hold Steady seems so comfortable in their skin on Thrashing Thru The Passion that they allow themselves to fiddle with details on the margins. They let the pace slow just enough to allow themselves to deepen the colors and textures of their arrangements, whether it’s accentuating the new wave throb on “Entitlement Crew” or the woozy horns that play catch up with the guitar riffs on “T~Shirt Tux” and “The Stove & The Toaster.” Some of this broadened palette may be down to the return of keyboardist Franz Nicolay, playing on his first Hold Steady record since 2008’s Stay Positive. Nicolay lends the band a sense of careening carnivalesque energy that complements the full~throttle guitar of Tad Kubler, but the vibe of Thrashing Thru The Passion is more considered and subdued than the band’s records of the 2000s. Often, the album recalls the carefully observed short stories of Finn’s solo albums — he released a trilogy between 2014’s Teeth Dreams and Thrashing — but this is unquestionably the work of a full band, one who knows each other’s weaknesses as well as they know the strengths. All this means is that Thrashing Thru The Passion feels mature but not stuffy or settled; it’s the sound of a group that cherishes their own peculiar chemistry and choose to bask within the righteous noise they make.