The Hold Steady – The Price of Progress

The Hold Steady - The Price of Progress



3.9/5 Pros

  • Very nice narrative indie-rock
  • Versatile songs

The Hold Steady is celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year. Wouldn’t there be a better way of celebrating than releasing a new album? That’s what the indie rock band is doing with The Price of Progress. The songs are available from 31st March 2023. If you want to see them live, hurry up – a couple of their US shows is already sold out.


The Hold Steady – About The Artist

The Hold Steady exist since 2003, when they have been founded in Minneapolis. They have been very active since then and already released eight studio album as well as seven EPs (including live records). The band is lead by lead singer and guitarist Craig Finn. Unfortunately, I have different information about the lineup, but the most likely one is Tad Kubler (guitar), Galen Polivka (bass), Bobby Drake (drums), Franz Nicolay (piano / keys) and Steve Selvidge (guitar). The most successful time of the band was in the later 2000’s and early 2010’s. For example, their 2008 album Stay Positive was a Top 30 one in the US and climbed up to the 15th spot in the UK charts.


The Hold Steady – The Price of Progress – Track by Track

The ten track album lasts 39 minutes.

1. Grand Junction

The opener Grand Junction is a nice swaying folk rock touch song. Later, The Hold Steady rather show their indie-rock side. A song which is

2. Sideways Skull

Song like the opener or Sideways Skull remind me of Bruce Springsteen. Not too much the rock style – The Hold Steady are rougher, harder, also a bit faster. The voice of Craig Finn has a similar characteristic. This is just a nice topping on this song, which is a cool indie-rocker anyway.

3. Carlos Is Crying

The singer kind of slaughte red I Wanna Be Your Lover
And someone went to fetch a few more pitchers.
It wasn’t all that crowded because the softball games had washed out in the rain.
I’d slipped out of my shift on some sort of screw up with the schedule.
There’s a couple newer pl aces by the river but Skippers is mainly where we hang.

The third song is slower then the two songs before, the bass is creating a very present and cool groove. Overall, this track is a cool storyteller, I really like the narrative style of the band in here.

4. Understudies

Understudies is another previous single release. The song is another very narrative song. This time, brass sounds are used to structure the instrumental background, while the bass is less present. A nice listen.

5. Sixers

Sixers is another “Bruce Springsteen-style” song – maybe even more than Grand Junction or Sideways Skulls. The song has a nice drive forward, which then alters and has rather slow moments.

6. The Birdwatchers

The Birdwatchers feels like a merger of all styles in this album. The song feels classic and nostalgic, but it also has this nice drive and a beautiful narrative style. Over its full duration of over four minutes, the song is even a bit too demanding to me.

7. City At Eleven

With 2:49 minutes, City At Eleven is the shortest song of all on the album. The instrumental parts, especially solo parts, have a blues touch. Not on my list of favorites, but a pretty good listen.

8. Perdido

And it’s too much information.
Yeah, the cuircuitboard is jammed.
A breakup in Perdido. That was probably not the plan.
Staggered by this newest piece of truth from her.

The eighth song is very fluent and melodic and thus is one of my favorite listens. Again, you need to invest into this song, give it a deep listen, enjoy the story. Otherwise, it might feel like a waste of time to you.

9. Distortions Of Faith

The first parts of Distortions of Faith comes with bluesy and jazzy elements. The song has sufficient time to develop, it is a the only one exceeding five minutes. The song is another really good story, which feels more relaxed and easy than other listens on the album.

10. Flyover Halftime

The song is rather a final whistle than some halftime track. The song is a nice track in the style of the first two tracks. Thus, I am sure fans of the band will praise it. And its cool, rocking style is a good catch as well.


The Hold Steady – The Price of Progress – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


The Hold Steady – The Price of Progress – My View

I really enjoyed listening to the album. As said, you have to listen intensively in here. It is not an album which deserves to be listened to as background music. The stories are driving it – and the band is hitting the right notes for an enjoyable listen.


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