Sunday, February 1, 2015

Underrated Classic: The Hold Steady 'Separation Sunday'

Ten years ago, a little rising band from Brooklyn released their second record, Separation Sunday. The band, The Hold Steady, were playing small bars in the city and going on national tours but were still just starting off. The year before they released their debut, Almost Killed Me, to critical success but were not seeing any commercial achievements, by the time they released their second album in May of 2005, things started to grow, not to mention most of the band were already in their 30's and starting a new life in a rock and roll band. Separation Sunday was the record that shows critics and new ears that this was a band that was not going to do anything without a fight. The record is the second of four albums that follows characters created by songwriter Craig Finn, Finn in the songs plays the narrator while showcasing the lives of characters Holly, Charlemagne, Gideon, all of which have Biblical references living in suburbia and wanting more out of life. The brilliance of the lyrical storytelling driven by the classic rock backdrop displays what this band was capable of very early on. Now, 11 years in existence, The Hold Steady have proven their worth by selling out large venues and sustaining themselves as fan favorites and critical darlings. However, they all had to start somewhere, and instead of hitting the dreaded 'Sophomore Slump,' this band rose to the occasion and crafted a record that will live on with their legacy.