Maybe we underestimated the power of the stache. After posting “Hurricane J,” Rock Problems,”and “The Weekenders,” seems like even Hold Steady diehards are less than enthused about the forthcoming Heaven Is Whenever. To stay positive: A few of you mentioned “The Weekenders” was the strongest of the three (and not just because it includes “a metal bar”), so maybe the new collection’s moving into an upward arc? The band performed “Barely Breathing” on Friday at Life The Place To Be during their tour kickoff. Success? Or do we get to make mean respirator puns?

Heaven Is Whenever is out 5/4 via Vagrant.

Comments (10)
  1. Serious question … who are these diehards who are “less than enthused” about the new Hold Steady album? Seems to me that the blog response has been largely positive. The haters have hated, and the fanboys have fawned, and that’s about it. These songs sound like the Hold Steady (personally, I think this is a great thing, but I know the band isn’t for everyone) … who expected something else?

  2. Posting blown-out videos like this just encourages all the idiots in front of me at shows to keep their cameras hoisted in the air all night. This is not the way to judge the new tunes…

  3. Here’s a more important question: Who is the other guitar player with the big-ass beard and curly hair? Is he some touring guitarist or a replacement for Franz?

  4. There were two new band members at the show – the guitar player with the wild hair you can see in the video, as well as a keyboardist (who sat in the back on the other side of the stage). Craig introduced them both as new band members, but not sure if it’s just for touring or not.

  5. Oh, and the show was amazing. I missed Franz a lot, but they sounded incredible.

  6. I can’t wait for the new album, but I will miss Franz. The bass drum picture looks killer.

  7. guitarist: Steve Selvidge
    keys: Dan Neustadt

  8. Thanks, everybody. I am seeing them in Syracuse here this weekend. I definitely can’t for the show, but I’ve seen them about a half-a-dozen times with Franz, which makes me a little nervous that they may not be so excellent this time around.

    Did ya’ll hear Franz is playing with Against Me!? Nutty!

  9. I’m with Aaron. Where are the “less than enthused” diehards? I’m hearing mostly positive things in my world. Personally, I’m really excited for the record.

  10. Claiming die-hards are less than enthused based on small percentage of posts of the posts at this site (by people who make no reference to being die-hards) is kind of narcissistic, to say the least. I’m an admitted die-hard and, having heard about half the new album now, I can say I’d be happy with another decade of “Hurricane J”s and “Rock Problems”, but thankfully this is a band that’s comfortable enough with its strengths and weaknesses to both please its fan base (the aforementioned songs) and challenge itself (“Weekenders”, “Barely Breathing”) even after losing a member whom many claimed was the key to their sound.

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