Music Nerdist: REVIEW. HOLD STEADY "STAY POSITIVE"
by Jonah Ray on August 8, 2008
I had an odd moment this week. Whilst I was casually walking through the automatic sliding doors of a Rite Aid (I live in a poor area.) I was greeted with a sign that read “BACK TO SCHOOL SALE!”. It caused a flash of panic and despair, like I had just blown my summer. Like I hadn’t fully utilized my vacation, school was just right around the corner, and I forgot to do the required reading before english class which is, of course, THE FIRST PERIOD OF THE SEMESTER!
Then I realized, I graduated high school already (barely), I have nothing to worry about (as far as learning is concerned). Yet, I still was a bit bummed on the near-end of summer.
The reason i bring this up is because when the sunny season began this year I had received a copy of STAY POSITIVE by brooklynite-bar-band THE HOLD STEADY.
This album has the hopeful and reckless abandonment you feel as a kid when school gets out. CONSTRUCTIVE SUMMER is the opening track and with the line “We’re Gonna Build Something This Summer!” you immediately feel pumped up. Pumped up like you just gotta hop on your bike and ride down to the quarry hole, go swimming, and talk about the crazy “tree-house-dam-fort-make-out-party-having-club-house” that you and your Cutter friends are gonna make with branches and mud (hopefully pennywise the clown won’t kill you before that.)
The album continues rocking with some of the best sing-alongs for guys who feel they should like BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN but just haven’t been able to understand why that guy at the record store always proclaims “No dude, you gotta get the album NEBRASKA.” My retort? No, no I effing don’t need to get Nebraska.
So, go get it. And live the rest of your life like you’
re on summer vacation.