The demos aren't all that far from the glossier versions that appear on Major General. If Franz helmed The Hold Steady and drove them from the position of American Music Club obsession rather than Springsteen, you'd get the songs here. Unsurprisingly, Franz is good with a hook. His well is pretty deep; there aren't too many people who could pull off a cover of Do We Not Live In Dreams and not come off saccharine (and pretentiously so), but our Franz manages to pull it off with his usual aplomb. He follows it up with the driving Confessions Of An Ineffective Casanova, just to remind you that he's not trifling when it comes to the rock department, either. Whether you like the songs fast or prefer them slow, Major General is a great record, and an early candidate for best of the year for this guy. I couldn't suggest more emphatically that you buy the thirteen songs that comprise it here. Doubting Thomases can try it before you by it here. No doubt, afterwards you'll want to keep track of the general goings-on with our Mr. Nicolay. Do that here.