Oh, The Hold Steady, I can't stay mad at you... especially when your new album is titled Stay Positive (available July 15) So for now, with a little help from Stereogum (run by Death Cab For Cutie today), that's exactly what I am going to do: stay positive.
Stereogum's afternoon post of "Sequestered in Memphis," a new track now available on iTunes (surprise, surprise,) got me anxious. Can't Craig Finn & Co. just go Jack White on this album already and get it over with?
What we have here is your standard kick-ass Hold Steady song. Cue Franz Nicolay (pianist) evoking his inner Danny Federici (late pianist for The Boss), coupled with guitar licks reminiscent of "Stevie Nix" circa Separation Sunday, and you've got a band drawing from an older sound to produce a new one. "Sequestered" sounds fresh, well-engineered and seasoned all at the same time.
There is no sign of energy loss or lyrical lull here. The tune's easily repeatable chorus, although you might want to mind your company, reads, "In bar light she looked alright/ In daylight she looked desperate/ That's alright, I was desperate too/ I am gettin' pretty sick of this interview/ Subpoenaed in Texas/ Sequestered in Memphis." That doesn't disappoint, does it?
Any questions? I didn't think so. Listen to the track, it's pretty much self-explanatory.
Listen: "Sequestered in Memphis"