March 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams

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The Hold Steady
Teeth Dreams
Washington Square
Street: 03.25
The Hold Steady = Cheap Trick + Bruce Springsteen + Hüsker Dü
In the four years since their last LP, The Hold Steady busied themselves with soundtrack work and solo records. This latest album, Teeth Dreams, finds the band older, wiser and on a new label. It’s a straightforward rock n’ roll record with a punk vibe and a 1970s rock aftertaste. This is partly due to the addition of guitarist Steve Selvidge, and partly because the session was overseen by producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush). At times, it seems overproduced—the vocals are buried more in the mix and the dueling lead guitars compete for much of the action. Still, it fills the void like only this band can. Opening track “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” recycles some familiar lyrics and blasts them without apology. Another highlight, “Wait A While,” offers up relationship advice in the band’s pure, anthemic style. Hold Steady fans rejoice—this is a great record. –James Bennett
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