Album cover artwork with vinyl recordSince finishing the opus of Hoodrat Holly with 2008’s Stay Positive, Minneapolis’s rock laureates have struggled through an inconsistent decade, even as their profile rose.

Between Game of Thrones soundtracks and line-up changes, there was a sense they were looking for a new identity. Open Door Policy feels like they finally found it, bringing back the wiry post-punk undercurrent of their earlier Lifter Puller days with the polish honed over their last few albums.

Craig Finn’s barstool preacher persona sounds emboldened, finding theology in bodies aging and disintegrating, and still finding humour in lines like “When they kicked in the door/ They said that’s way too much blood for a nosebleed.” It’s a positive jam.

Open Door Policy by The Hold Steady is out now via Thirty Tigers/Cooking Vinyl.

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