Oh my fucking Jesus - this is the epitome of BOSS! I cannot put into words how good this album is - other than saying that it is the soundtrack of fat guys in their 30s getting drunk and trying to party with hot girls in their 20s - and so instead I will regale you with an anecdote which I hope will convey my feelings. Last December, me & Douchey Dave went to go see the Hold Steady play live in Manchester. After an epic train journey, we were met by my housemate's boyfriend (good lad; he's called Robert E. Lee, and has a cool little beard, and is an Americana DJ who runs his own night) who was putting up for the night. He escorted us to his house and, after spending about an hour offering to cook us soup, me & Dave headed into town to start drinking. We went to a pub that used to be a gent's toilet, and then some little bar where we drunk Apple Mojitos, before heading to the venue. After a few pairs of pints, we wormed our way into the overwhemingly male, early middle-aged crowd to get a good position, not remembering the effect that alcohol has on bladders. Desperately needing a slash, but not wanting to lose our place, we did what any one in our position would do - subtly piss into out empty pint glasses. Job done, we placed the full pint glasses on the floor, and continued rocking. A few minutes later we wondered why our feet were wet, only to realise the horrible truth. But we actually didn't care - if anything, it added to the moment - as we were already covered in sweat and beer. People often say "that was the best gig ever!" after every bloody gig, but when we said it after this one, we both genuinely meant it - it has yet to be beaten for pure, simple enjoyment. Oh, and the lead singer Craig Finn-Lad said to the entire crowd something along the lines of "we aren't just the Hold Steady, YOU are all the Hold Steady as well" - but he was just talking to me & Dave, honest, and so we're both offically members of the band, but me more than Dave. After the gig we got a pack of beers, went back to Rob's house, and drunk until the early morning, while listening to Venetian-future-disco. That's the kind of crazy shit this album does to you. Enjoy.
The Hold Steady – Boys & Girls In America (2006)