rough trade

Album / DVD Review: A Positive Rage - the Hold Steady

BlackPlastic cannot help - like physically can't not - tell people over, and over, and over just how fucking good this record is and how good the Hold Steady are.

They aren't 'electronic' in the sense of being even vaguely related to the central musical styles of this blog.  What they are however is one of the most passionate, mind-blowingly enjoyable rock bands around right now.  If you checked our top five non-electronic albums of 2008 you will know that the Hold Steady's Bruce Springsteen-esque sound blew us away on their album Stay Positive.

A Positive Rage is a double disc effort - a live recording from c. 2006 and a DVD documentary made at the same time as the band tour America (with a bit of London at the beginning).  BlackPlastic doesn't feel the need to say much about this beyond the fact that both components are essential (so don't do digital kids, buy a proper CD for once) and that this is a perfect introduction as to what is so great about the band.

The album closes on a couple of tracks that run into each other - 'Girls Like Status' and 'Killer Parties' - and the result feels like a moment of clarity in a drunken haze.  As Craig Finn's closing vocals (more shouted than sung) state:

If she said we partied then I'm pretty sure we partied...

I really don't remember...

I remember we departed... from our bodies.

It's a glorious moment - as the electronic warmth of guitar distortion and organ envelope the crowd and Finn himself BlackPlastic can't help but wish they were there.

Available on CD / DVD at , or even better Rough Trade because they are releasing this and deserve your support.

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