Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
Two albums into the 2014 Bacon Top 31, two long-standing bands from Brooklyn. Although where Woods, at #31, retained their relative obscurity after a long career as a band, The Hold Steady have been at the top of their game and in the indie limelight for nearly their entire 10+ year career as a band.
Teeth Dreams is the sixth studio album from the band. Each album has built upon the same premise: hard rocking stories about drinking, clubbing, love and loss. Most of their songs have an anthemic chorus that you feel a need to pump your fist to while singing at the top of your lungs. Where The Hold Steady style excels in a rush of adrenaline, the songs themselves retain little variety from one to the next, making each album feel like it’s cut from the same studio sessions all recorded in one marathon stint back in 2004. Of course that’s not the case, but it sure feels that way.
I had the immense pleasure of seeing and reviewing The Hold Steady’s performance at the Neptune earlier this year. It was a fantastic show:
Their live show is unequaled in power, excitement, and adrenaline. Finn’s delivery is emphatic, filled with joy and power. Typically grinning from ear to ear, he is constantly beckoning the crowd to sing along, stepping away from the mic and moving to the edge of the stage, arms extended and yelling at the top of his lungs. He appears to be having the time of his life, clearly feeding off the collective energy of his worshipping fans.
This was a lively, fully-engrossed and thoroughly vigorous audience. “You all could have chosen to stay home, cozy on your couch,” said Finn. “But instead, you chose to come here, to enjoy some rock and roll with other like-minded folks. For that, we thank you.” Not once in my 17-year time in Seattle have I seen a crowd so in sync, so content to get sweaty and fully invested in those around them. There was crowd surfing. There was mass moshing. There was even a stage dive, and it was glorious. Every bit of it.
Get the album and you’ll hear a small bit of that excitement within.