The Hold Steady - 'The Price Of Progress'


Having now been together for two decades this year, The Hold Steady remain one of the most intriguing and distinctive names doing the rounds right now. With frontman Craig Finn's instantly recognisable voice spinning tales of forgotten American dreams and lost youth becoming the staple of their sound, they have created this wonderfully broad and expansive direction that has served them extremely well throughout their career. And after the rousing response to their 2021 LP 'Open Door Policy', they return once again to deliver their ninth studio album 'The Price Of Progress', a record that looks to reflect more of today's society.

While their material in the past has always had this half-truth nature to it, singing songs about people that could very well exist but never totally sure, 'The Price Of Progress' looks towards the impact of the world post-pandemic. Honing towards the hollow ideas of nostalgia, where things always feel that little bit better before than they do right now, they seem to have this almost self-realised perspective of themselves who are trundling on twenty years later and still trying to keep up with their youth. But despite the ironic nature of its lyrical meanings, their aesthetic remains as fresh and inventive as ever, even finding some classic rock n roll swagger as they go.

While there is always this notion of bands becoming slower and less intense as they grow older, The Hold Steady have proven that sometimes that needs to happen in order to fully accept who you have become. A brilliantly poetic and engaging look at the idea that time is somehow the catalyst behind disappointment, the price that we all pay in order to progress.

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