I will make a bold guarantee to start this review off: You will NEVER hear a better EP. Senor & The Queen picks up where Sink or Swim left off and doesn't allow the (incredibly high) quality to fall.
One of the greatest things about this EP is the variety. It starts with the title track, a good old-fashioned rock song to get you jumping and then goes into the wonderfully titled 'Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?', a song in which the influence of the blues on the Gaslight Anthem is shown clearly. More clear than the blues in this song however, is the incredible song-writing talent of Brian Fallon. The lyrics are a poignant journey through the heart and mind of Fallon.
After this comes a large shift in focus with 'Say I Won't (Recognize)':
"We're havin' a party,
Tonight won't you come down out of your tower,
Don't make me dance all night alone."
'Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?' seems about as far as you could get from such a sentiment but it is beaten by the final track - 'Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts'.
"And we sing with our heroes thirty-three rounds per minute
We're never going home until the sun says we're finished
And I'll love you forever if I ever love at all
Wild hearts, blue jeans, & white t-shirts"
The reference to 33RPM is of course a reference to vinyl records and shows again the importance Gaslight Anthem ascribe to their influences.
In summation, this record, in its 4 songs, has heavy, blues, upbeat and calm moments. It does more in its 11 minutes than most LPs manage and, if you're like me, the length is the only thing you'll hold against it. 5 stars.
The best EP ever for me, the first EP from new up and coming punk band the Gaslight Anthem whom have shot to stardom with their most recent release 59' Sound, having been a fan since last spring I decided to purchase this EP not knowing an awful lot about it but it so turns out that it is equally as good as both their full length albums and more than worthy of being on either of the albums.
The opening track is Senor and The Queen, the title track is a powerful into to an EP that doesn't let you rest for a minute and lead singer Brian Fallon asks his senora if she'll ever let her past go and asks if 'Did the boys at school break your precious heart in two', one of my favourite tracks from the Gaslight anthem, it's got the rawness that Sink or Swim had to it but likewise has the jumpiness and emotion to it that is so rife in the 59 Sounds
Wherefore art though Elvis is possibly even better, a slightly less gritty punk song, the chorus is particularly stunning and catchy as is the final few verses as he asks for his senorita to pray for him, I particularly love the 2 lines in relation for Leonard Cohens Hallelujah, the emotion going through those 2 lines can felt more than any other song on this album I feel.
The 3rd song on the album is Say I don't, it's a crowd favourite when they play it live and it's usually left till last as it's so damn catchy it's so easy to get into emotionally, maybe I love this band too much but having seen them 3 times, each time they play this song last there's an emotion about the place, a sense that something spectacular has come to an end and this song is to end it all off to give everyone a damn good send off, for that reason I'm surprised this wasn't the last song on the album, I must say this song in particularly is so much better live than on the album.
The final song on the album is Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts which is well known as one of their finest songs in their entire catalogue, this album seems to increase in stature as you make your way through it it's a shame that it's over before you even begin, a ballad type song that starts with a little story about him hanging around Little Eden on a Saturday night in what seems a reminisce from previous times and something that we all feel. The chorus of this song albeit short is truly superb and impossible not to sing to, the keyboard (I presume) in the background adds something special to this song as does the chorus sang by both Brian Fallon and whom I believe is either the sister or wife of Brian Fallon, on that I could be wrong though.
The greatest band of our generation in my personal opinion has bought out the greatest EP I've head and it's a shame it's so short, although they've given us 3 albums, 25+ songs and the best damn music of this time in the last 2 years I suppose we can forgive them this once.
If you plan on getting any album sometime soon, make it this one and if you can, catch them live, they're the best live band I've seen.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Se?or and the Queen
2 Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
3 Say I Won't (Recognize)
4 Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts