Day 133: Lifter Puller – Fiestas and Fiascos

11 Jul

Lonely in a Limousine

If you’re a fan of modern indie music, you can’t possibly have a Minnesota themed week on your blog without a little bit of Craig Finn.  Currently, he’s the energetic, arm flailing front man of the ridiculously awesome The Hold Steady.  Believe me, if there were a record by them that I hadn’t heard, you’d be reading about it right now.  They’re my second favorite band though, so naturally, I’ve heard every single song that they’ve ever recorded.

Before Craig started The Hold Steady, he was in the not-as-good Lifter Puller.  I’ve heard one record by them (To Live and Die in LBI) and was thoroughly underwhelmed.  Sure, Craig was still utilizing his infamous sing-talk voice back then, but the band backing him up was pretty weak.  My expectations were pretty low for Fiestas and Fiascos.

I got exactly what I was expecting out of this album.  Craig Finn had awesome lyrics even back then, but pretty much no one to back him up.  Tad Kubler (also a future Hold Steadier) does all that he can on guitar, but I feel that he’s definitely gotten better over the years.  The riffs are pretty weak sauce; nothing like the meaty classic rock greatness that you get on pretty much any Hold Steady song.

Think of Lifter Puller as The Hold Steady in its adolescence.   Craig still had some maturing left to do before he could reach his peak of amazingness (which happened some time in 2006, with Boys and Girls in America).  Mr. Finn took a step in the right direction when he stopped giving his songs names like Space Humping $19.99


2 Responses to “Day 133: Lifter Puller – Fiestas and Fiascos”

  1. Jose Dinero July 12, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    It is too bad the format won’t let you review albums you have heard before because I would enjoy a Swole Ear top to bottom ranking of The Hold Steady catalog. That would require some tough decisions, I think. As for Lifter Puller, taken out of The Hold Steady context, I don’t think I would listen to an entire album, but when you understand what Craig Finn is up to, you want to see how it began, so it is worth a listen in that respect.

  2. tonyv433 January 12, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Interesting. Being from MN and enjoying Lifter Puller before there was even a Hold Steady, we have semi-opposite opinions, though one thing is true: Craig Finn is amazing! I’ll give you that Lifter Puller started pretty weak, but the Entertainment and Arts EP along with F+F was top notch! While it’s sad to see them disbanded, at least we got some classic-rock-inspired masterpieces: Separation Sunday being one of my all-time favorite albums.

    I may be late to this blog, but it was cool stumbling upon it!

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