Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady

Swearin'

Sat, December 29, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$20.00 - $22.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady is a Brooklyn-based rock band formed by vocalist/guitarist Craig Finn (ex-Lifter Puller) in 2004. Wanting to capture the sound of bands such as The Replacements and The Grifters, he recruited guitarist Tad Kubler (also ex-Lifter Puller), drummer Judd Counsell, and bassist Galen Polivka. In 2005 the band grew to include Franz Nicolay (of The World/Inferno Friendship Society) on keyboards and Bobby Drake took over on drums following Counsell's departure.

Recording mostly live, the band released its debut, Almost Killed Me, on French Kiss Records in March 2004 and Separation Sunday a year later. In April 2006 the band signed to Vagrant Records and entered the studio on the 1st of May to begin work on their third record, Boys And Girls In America. Released in October, it was one of the most critically acclaimed records of 2006 and reached a much larger audience than its predecessors.

The band released their fourth album, Stay Positive, recorded again with Boys And Girls In America producer John Agnello. Nicolay left the group and on May 4, 2010 the band released their fifth studio album, Heaven Is Whenever, recorded with producer Dean Baltulonis.

On July 15, 2008, Stay Positive was released. It debuted at #30 on the Billboard 200. It debuted on the UK Album Chart at #15 on July 20, the third-highest new entry. It ranked #1 on the UK Indie Chart. The album was named the best of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. The song "Constructive Summer" was number 56 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.

Swearin'
Swearin'
Swearin’ co-frontperson Allison Crutchfield is only 23 years old, but she’s been in the game forever already. A truncated history: She started the Ackleys as a ninth grader in Birmingham, AL, with her twin sister, Katie; they were on Warped Tour as high school students. After that band called it quits, the sisters formed P.S. Eliot in 2008, releasing two full-lengths and an EP over the course of their three-and-a-half-year existence. The sisters relocated from Birmingham to Brooklyn in 2011, months before pulling the plug on P.S. Eliot. When the band split, Allison and Katie’s musical paths diverged, too: Katie went solo under the moniker Waxahatchee; Allison put together Swearin’ with Jeff Bolt (drums), Keith Spencer (bass), and P.S. Eliot bandmate Kyle Gilbride (who shares guitar and vocal duties with Crutchfield). Swearin’ unveiled a 6-song demo called What A Dump last December. Earlier this year, they released their self-titled debut LP on Salinas Records. With 2012 coming to a close, it seems safe to say Swearin’ will be included in the conversation of the year’s best indie-rock records.

The words “indie rock” are crucial here. While the term has long since ceased to have value as a descriptor, Swearin’ deliver a sound that could serve as a definition for what the genre used to be. The band’s combination of melody, distortion, and energy brings to mind the emo bands of the mid to late ’90s, especially the Get Up Kids, Rainer Maria, the Promise Ring, and Jawbreaker. Gilbride’s vocals are a dead ringer for those of a young Mac McCaughan; Crutchfield could probably stand in for Anna Waronker on a mid-’90s That Dog LP without anyone noticing. The pair’s guitars have a furious squeal that brings to mind Built To Spill or Sebadoh; their instant-classic melodies are obscured by feedback and fuzz, an ancient indie-rock trick perfected by the likes of Archers Of Loaf and Pavement. Crutchfield was born in 1989 (the year the Pixies released Doolittle), and those tendencies are in her blood: In a short documentary about the Ackleys, filmed when Allison and Katie were still in high school, both sisters namecheck Guided By Voices as their primary songwriting influence.

We’re two decades out from Slanted & Enchanted, and “indie rock” is enjoying something of a retro-chic revival (cf. Yuck, Japandroids) — meanwhile, the Promise Ring just concluded a brief (and no doubt profitable!) reunion at Fun Fun Fun Fest, and next month Jawbreaker will reissue Bivouac to celebrate its 20th birthday — but Swearin’ doesn’t sound like an attempt to cash in on the moment; the album’s style:substance ratio is weighted heavily toward the consequent. The songs are compact, tightly constructed, smart, explosive, and very catchy. The highlights for me change as my relationship with the record grows, but I can’t imagine anyone not being captured immediately by “Here To Hear,” “Kenosha,” or “Movie Star.” The band moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia earlier this year, and this week, they’re headed out on tour for some shows with Japandroids. Tour dates are below, along with a full-album stream. Play it loud.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123