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The Hold Steady Top This Morning’s New Album Announcements

Craig Finn & co. preview Thrashing Thru the Passion with Denver Haircut.

Looks like it’s going to be another big day for new-album announcements. Within an hour this morning, I already had a slew of them to compile — topped by the news that The Hold Steady are dropping a new album titled Thrashing Thru the Passion on Aug. 16. Even better: Craig Finn and co. unveiled the leadoff track Denver Haircut — their latest in a series of singles — as their latest preview of the disc. Check it out below, followed by Finn and the band’s press release. For the rest of this morning’s list, head over to the Upcoming Releases page. I’ve already updated it today, and I suspect I’ll be doing it again before the afternoon is over. Anyway, here’s Denver Haircut in all its guitar-driven, Metallica-loving glory — along with all the other Thrashing tunes they’ve already released. And remember, kids: It’s doesn’t have to be perfect. It sorta has to be worth it.


“We thought Denver Haircut sounded like the first track on a record. Blackout Sam sounded like it should close an album side. In fact, these five songs together sounded like a cool A side of an album. So, after D. James Goodwin mixed the songs, we decided to put them together with some of our favorite songs we’d recorded in the past few years and make it an album. We pondered a track list for a bit, had our friend Dave Gardner master it, and here it is. We call it Thrashing Thru The Passion, which is taken from a line on You Did Good Kid.

“I’ve remarked for a while now that this six- piece lineup of THS is the best we’ve ever had. It’s not really even negotiable. And fifteen years in, I believe that we are making some of our very best music. We’ve come to a place that feels both fun and vital. When I listen to these songs, I feel a sense of joyfulness – I hear friendship, community, positivity and a love of rock and roll music. This band has changed all of our lives, and it continues to make changes. Good ones.

“A lot of things have changed since we started in 2003. We’ve changed the way we approach touring, opting for multi show weekends in bigger cities rather than the skullduggery of month-long slogs. This is more realistic for where we are at now, and we’ve also found it to make the band much more musical. More of our time together is spent playing and performing music than setting up and taking down gear, driving it to the next place, setting it up again. Also, these runs of shows have reinforced what an amazing community exists around this band, and how it keeps growing. All in all, making this change to the way we approach shows has given a new life to the band.

“We’ve also made changes in how we release music. In late 2017, we dropped Entitlement Crew and A Snake in the Shower as a surprise before our second annual Massive Nights run at the Brooklyn Bowl. We made it available on Bandcamp, with a suggested donation that raised money for a charity. We’ve repeated that a number of times now, dropping these digital singles just before a run of shows. It’s been fun to release music this way, it feels almost like a new episode of a serial. It also allowed us to escape some of the promotional obligations that come with releasing a full LP. In short, it keeps things exciting and fresh.

“This time, with Thrashing Thru The Passion, we have released an album with five new songs and five that have been previously released digitally. That felt right this time. We can’t say what we will do next time, but with the recording industry where it is in 2019, it feels wide open. We will continue to take the advice Paul Stanley offered on the classic Kiss song, Room Service, and do what we feel.”

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