The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

dismiss these girls and boys as just another gang of angst-ridden crybabys and you know not what you do

Album Review by Dave Kerr | 11 Jan 2007
  • Boys and Girls in America
Album title: Boys and Girls in America
Artist: The Hold Steady
Label: Vagrant
The title is pure 80s cheddar, and in an exaggerated spin on the jaded kids in Kim Wilde's hair-sprayed disco bop universe, these Boys and Girls In America are of course "always inconsolable, unhinged and uncontrollable." With all the lairy triumph of The Boss hammering shots with The National, Craig Finn and his Minneapolis set perform the unthinkable by ramming Thin Lizzy riffs and celebration day Pogues sentiments into the same cannon. It's pure fusion, and, like the best of them, reeks in equal measures of sincere optimism and tearful empathy. The explosive organ of 'Chips Ahoy' versus the soft piano tinkerings of 'Chillout Tent' easily announces this idea before the lyrics are even considered. The Hold Steady practice that rare reverse psychology of luring you into the strangely comfortable state where failure seems fine, if only for the sake of recapturing some sort of lost hunger. It's loose, fun and whimsical yet it's nicely crafted - as such, dismiss these girls and boys as just another gang of angst-ridden crybabys and you know not what you do. [Dave Kerr]
Release Date: 22 Jan. http://www.theholdsteady.com