Release Date: Jan 13, 2009
Record label: Fistolo
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
FRANZ NICOLAYHold Steady keyboardist's solo album tears the curtain too farFranz Nicolay's tenure as the Hold Steady's keyboardist provides a large, pre-built audience for his first solo album, Major General. However, dubbing the album a Hold Steady side project ignores his overflowing work with many other acts (World/Inferno Friendship Society, Anti-Social Music, Guignol, among others). Unsurprisingly, the sonic mix of Major Generaltake on Bruce Springsteen.Lyrically, Major Generallike the Mountain Goats best material.
The problem with opening up an album with all guns blazing is that the rest of the record has to live up to that first song. Franz Nicolay runs into this problem on Major General, his debut as a solo artist. Nicolay is probably most famous as the mustachioed, beret-wearing pianist for the Hold Steady, providing fist pumps and backing vocals to frontman Craig Finn’s conversational lyrics.
With a tiny, in the most literal terms, release of his debut in 2007, Franz Nicolay chose the right time to release his second offering of music. The band he plays keyboards for (The Hold Steady) just finished the release of their fourth album and have clearly cemented themselves as one of the greater Rock ‘n Roll bands currently making music. With this accord, Nicolay’s timely keyboard contributions and back-up vocals are beginning to garner more and more attention.