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Band You Love Releasing New Album Dilemma

Do you remember when you were a kid, when you didn’t just like a band, you absolutely loved them? You weren’t just a fan of the music, you liked them as people? Hanging on their every utterance plastering your bedroom wall with their posters, finding out who their influences were and buying their albums, knowing their back story, counting days down to you saw them live and then spending that gig thinking ‘holy fuck, it’s actually them’?

There was also the strange feeling approaching the release of a new album. Anticipation, sure, but also a slightly clammy feeling of unease, just a chilling little feeling of fear at the back of your mind….what if it’s rubbish? What if it isn’t any good?

Those feelings do go, mostly, as you get older. You still really enjoy new stuff, you still go and see bands, but you just can’t replicate the fervour you had when you were a teenager. It’s probably just as well. When you are a teenager, acting up is cute. When you are an adult, it’s potentially stalking.

But there is one band who are the exception for me, and that’s the Hold Steady. A simply brilliant band, with wonderful lyrics detailing the adventures of a group of characters with a precision and verve Hunter S. Thompson would have admired. Add to that they make a fearsome live noise and you have a great recipe. I’ve done stupid things to follow this band – like flying from Glasgow to Colorado for the weekend JUST TO SEE THEM PLAY! – and I’ve bored everyone I know about how wonderful they are. If people don’t like them, I think less of them as humans. And they have a new album out next month.

On the one hand, I’m excited, of course I am. I want to see what’s happened with the gang. But I’m also gripped by the fear – what if it’s rubbish? What will I do then?

I actually think I know. I’ll listen to it over and over again, looking for any way into it, any little glimmer of hope. I’ll launch myself further into denial than Moses and pretend it’s a masterwork. Look at the poster on another thread heroically defending ‘St.Anger’ by Metallica despite the overwhelming aural evidence that’s it’s utterly dreck. Now, eventually I’ll come clean, and it will go into the category marked ‘never listen’ along with ‘Kill Uncle’ by Morrissey, ‘Monster’ by REM and ‘The Second Coming’ by the Stone Roses, all albums by bands I love that I just don’t love as much as their other stuff.

So, come on lads, don’t put me through that. Please tell me that it’s even better than the last three (which I know will be tough.) You are special, you can do it. I BELIEVE!

No pressure…..


22 Responses

  1. How can you say that about st anger? And the hold steady, there just a bunch of old dudes. Yu shouln right a music blog if you don;t know about music.


  2. ….who are younger than Metallica 😉

    Dude, I am torn between whether you are an expert satirist or a complete and utter fucking moron.

  3. The Hold Steady obsession shows no signs of fading then?! They’re okay mate, but get a grip on yourself!!!


  4. Everyone is entitled to a favourite band!

  5. RockR – for your sake, I sincerely hope its your typing thats rubbish, and not your level of literacy, otherwise, you shouldn’t WRITE a comment if you don’t know who THEY ARE.

  6. hey,

    I’ve actually seen the hold steady a few times and I’ve been impressed every time.

    First time was T in the park, when they turned up but their gear didn’t. They played an acoustic set with one guitar, a hi hat and snare, and with the keyboard player playing an accordion. they got three songs and then had to get off the stage. I was quite impressed with their adaptability.

  7. ah hahh. yeh but metallica ave had more albums out, so them being older is cancelled out.
    and metallica have had a film about them 2 so

  8. Thanks for settling it, RockR.

  9. do u think limp bizkit will have a new rcord soon. if they do yu should reveiw it.

  10. For you RockR, anything!

  11. RockR, you are worth your weight in gold! Vintage comments!

    Its true that age does diminish your fervor for music, which is just as well as there is nothing worse than a 30/40-something leaping about with the young fellas. A bit of decorum is definitely called for.

    It is actually worth revisiting The Second Coming though. Like you, I put it firmly in the same mental file, until I happened to hear it one day a few years ago and was surprised that it was actually decent enough to listen to now that my expectations for it had shrunk considerably…

    Would you feel the same way about Kid A?

  12. HiHat, they are indeed a mighty live proposition. Their February gig in Camden was outstanding

  13. Hi Longman Oz. I’d agree with you – I’m far too old to be up the front this weather!

    I will go back to the Second Coming and give it another go. I think the problem with it at the time was that we’d just waited so long…..!

    As for Kid A…yeah, I probably would. I know you are not allowed to say it these days ;-), but I kind of couldn’t follow them from that point in. I’ll take the first three albums as Desert Island Discs, but I just didn’t love Kid, Amnesiac etc in the same way. Not saying they are not great albums, they just didn’t resonante with me the way earlier stuff did.

  14. couldn’t agree more about kid a et al, I have not liked anything radiohead has done after ok computer, to the point I haven’t even downloaded their latest offering to do with rainbows – even though I could effectively have had it for free. My time spent listening to it isn’t!

    Your opening paragraph is so true, you never again experience that elation and fanaticism about a band that you have during your formative years. And I don’t think you ever get over it, not really, even when your heroes go on to release a big pile of poo in later years!

  15. I’m never too bothered when a band I like brings out a less than average album. What I do is, not listen to the album, and listen to them when they are good. The album that was rubs, goes into a drawer and never comes out.

    It happened with Metallica, when St Anger came out, I listened to their other albums more to compensate for the utter dross of that album. It stopped me from crying so much.

  16. I remember when REM released monster, i was gutted. There was some ok stuff on it, but to follow Automatic with it was a big dissapointment.
    Of course, Automatic had the hugely succesful, and equally crap ‘Everybody Hurts’ on it, but most albums have a low point.

    I tried to convince myself monster was good, but if i’m honest, i don’t even know when my copy of that CD is now.

  17. Thanks AnimobileAWS!

    The tracks I heard in their live shows were superb, but you know what its like. i don’t just love the three albums, I adore them! Anything less than 5-stars will be a disappointment…but if there is ONE band in the world who can do it, its THS!

  18. Dude I know exactly how you feel. About the band and the what if scenario. And you listed two of my big 3 let down records up there too.

    Fact is, a bad THS record will still outclass most of the dross around. But a bad THS record? It’s not likely is it?

  19. is this a fucking joke about Metal- Licker???
    Music for underdeveloped emotionally retarded stay-with-your-mum-at-age-25 black metal t-shirt and bad hair people, that’s what that is, mate.

  20. To be fair, when the Black album came out I was 13!

    Nothing wrong with a bit of RAWK! when it’s done well Howlinwhippet!

  21. SteveDave, you are right. An average THS album will still piss all over the competition!

    They started off brilliantly and have just got better and better.

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