Craig Finn's spoken vocals are a barrier to entry, but the Hold Steady's first two albums literally contain the beginning of the story. These deluxe editions have enough strong extras to warrant a look.
While the Hold Steady's catalog has consisted of detailed character sketches and scenarios extolling the virtues of indulging the devil whispering in your ear, Teeth Dreams deals with the demons left in the wake.
The Hold Steady's music represents a delightfully perverse amalgamation of the Rolling Stones’ unbridled sexuality, Jack Kerouac’s open-road spirit, and the Replacement’s independent sensibility. No doubt, any of these 10 songs would make a great “gateway drug” for anyone interested in discovering the charms of the group for the first time.