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Do the Struggle

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iTunes Review

Yet another prolific member of the Brooklyn music scene, Franz Nicolay spent five years with The Hold Steady and seven before that with chaotic cabaret-punkers World/Inferno Friendship Society before embarking on a solo journey. His working-class bark (seemingly tinged with a bit o’ Irish grit) bounces like a moshpit crowdsurfer atop tubas, fiddles, guitars, and the roiling rhythm section of drummer John Bollinger and bassist/tuba player George Rush. (Bollinger and Rush came from Guignol, another former band.) “The Hearts of Boston” races in the best pub-rock-by-way-of-The-Pogues fashion, after starting off deceptively and stealthily as something like a dirge. It’s a great entry to the rest of the album, which features steamrolling drums and fiddles, blaring brass and guitar, picked mandolin, and pounded piano. The clever, textural bridges between each track lend an artful touch and inject breathing space between each energetic tune. The rollicking “You Don’t Know I’m Here” evokes a raucous hoedown even in its sadness, and Emilyn Brodsky’s clarion delivery on “Take No Prisoners” is a lovely vehicle for Nicolay’s remarkable lyrics.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

Hands down, one of my favorite albums of 2012. The last Hold Steady album left me wanting more...then I realized what was missing. Franz Nicolay. This album makes up for it, ten fold.


Born: August 27, 1977 in New Hampshire

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Franz Nicolay is a multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Brooklyn. Absurdly prolific and constantly working, Nicolay has been involved as a session player, arranger, collaborator, touring entity, and long-term member of countless bands, as well as maintaining an active solo career. Nicolay began playing piano and accordion in the long-running circus punk collective World/Inferno Friendship Society in 2000 and played with the band for seven years. Another of his notable gigs was as keyboardist/backing...
Full Bio
Do the Struggle, Franz Nicolay
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