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The Gaslight Anthem are a little known band from New Jersey, US. They have a bigger following among fans of punk rock and indie music than anything else and its really commonly heard that they sound "a bit like the killers". Personally, I believe that The Gaslight anthem are the better band. Fronted by a soulful Brian Fallon who plays the part of the tortured musician well always claims that he used to be the kid who made music that people didn't think would be successful. He proves that with hard work and dedication, it is possible to better yourself to rise to success. The other band members are Alex Rosamilia on lead guitar, Alex Levine on Bass and Benny Horrowitz on drums.
The 59 Sound was produced by Ted Hutt and released in August 2008 on One Side Dummy Records. It is the band's second album after Sink or Swim. it is roughly 41 minutes, containing 12 tracks and is available on vinyl, CD and digital. I'm cheeky and I have it on all 3 formats! Let me take you through the album!
Great Expectations kicks in with vinyl crackle and a catchy little guitar riff, leading into the firt verse. The vocals are caked in reverb which gives them a warm yet far-away feel. This is the factor that makes them sound a bit like the killers. This is one of the tracks on the album that really makes you want to dance and sing along because its so bouncy and catchy! Fantastic tune! The outro is simply amazing with its slower tempo and church bells which rolls straight into The 59' Sound.
This is the title track and is again full of catchy guitar and vocal riffs. One thing to listen for in this song is the communication between the two guitars. Alex Rosamilia makes this song perfect. The lyrics are expecially poetic on this track. It appears to be about having your favourite song being played to you as you pass away. This song is full of emotion and passion, its fantastic from start to finish. I love the line "We ain't supposed to die on a Saturday night". This is one of those songs that will stick with you for a long time.
Old White Lincoln carries on the feel of the last two tracks, the intro containing sound samples of cars and people shouting which really works with the bass in the background. Brian Fallon's vocals are again totally perfect; allowing us to not just picture what he is describing, but feel it. I should imagine that that pesky reverb on his voice has something to do with that. The melodies sung by Brian and played so soulfully by Alex Rosamilia comunicate so, so well!
The tone is changed a little bit with High Lonesome, although the pace is kept quite consistant. The guitars are again very well put together along with Benny's energetic drums and Alex's consistant bass lines. The verses don't quite do it for me on this track but the chorus is unbelievably spot, as always; sung with so much conviction!
Film Noir is where the album takes on a completelly different feel. There's a bluesy western feel here and the focus is attatched to the vocals and that cheeky sounding lead guitar part which works so well. This track is definitly the foot tapper and a head nodder! Again, it has a rediculously catchy chorus.
Miles Davis and the Cool starts out very drum orientated which fits with Brian's melody throughout the verse and rightly so because Benny is a fantastic drummer. The chorus agrees with the verse and the guitar stays in the background. I'm not a huge fan of this track, it seems a bit flat compared to the rest of the album.
The Patient Ferris Wheel is probably one of the more underrated songs of the album. This is probably because some of the other choruses have better lyrics and melodies and they overpower this track. Its a shame really because this is a really good track.
Cassanova Baby has a bluesy country feel to it which really makes you want to tap your feet and boogie as you sing along to that awesome chorus! I love the way the lead guitar repeats the chorus melody.
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Meet Me by the Rivers Edge continue that mix of absolutely incredible lead guitar and vocals/lyrics that will absolutely blow you away every listen.
Here's Looking at You Kid and The Backseat are the slower, more emotional tracks of the album. It feels like a wind down to the end of the album but it doesn't feel like a let down. They feel so poetic and beautiful that you feel like you can relate to the lyrics, even if you can't. I believe that is the best thing about Gaslight, they put you in the song and make you feel so much just through their music.
To Conclude, this album is a must have, it really is. Almost every song seems like it'd make a great festival anthem. However, its also really great for general listening and fits right in on a chill out playlist. Also, this band could appeal to anyone. There nothing that anyone could find offensive, the lyrics are great not to mention all of the elements of genres mashed together here. If you don't already own this album, you definitly should! If you've never heard of The Gaslight Anthem before, buy this album and you'll be hooked from the get-go.
Say hello to The Gaslight Anthem. Dare I suggest the majority of you haven't heard of them?? Well, some might know them simply as the band that got Bruce Springsteen to join them on stage during their performance at Glastonbury this year. Well, this is their album "The '59 Sound".
Released in 2008 on SideOneDummy Records, it's a twelve-track album which instantly personifies the 'Americana' type of band. Big choruses, full of melodies and short instrumental interludes and breakdowns - usually surrounding a glitzy guitar solo.
The opening track, "Great Expectations", is just that. Big glorious choruses and verses that contain muted guitar riffs and snare-infected drum loops. The reference to Bruce Springsteen early is clear to see in their music - it's genuine rock music. Listen to it on your stereo, and then imagine to loud and it can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
The album's title track was the first experience I had of the band, and it still stands out to me as one of, if not the best track off the album. The reason? The catchy chorus, which starts with lead singer Brian Fallon crying out "Did you hear the 59 sound?" is infectious. I'm a sucker for songs like this, and many people are...a few of you will love it too if you hear it for the first time after reading this.
Tracks such as "Old Lincoln White" and "High Lonesome" went by relatively unannounced on my first couple of listen to the album, but that's possibly due to the first couple of great tracks. But give them their due, they equally strong tracks and prove that throughout the album there's not just a couple of tracks acting as the spine of the album - there's plenty of highlights rather than plenty of basic filler music.
There are moments when a punk element outweighs the Americana side of things - "The Patient Ferris Wheel" is a song that oozes 'punk' due to the opening guitar riff and drum beat. Very fast, distorted and something not too dissimilar to the likes of the Offspring.
Other highlights include "Casanova, Baby!" - a song that combines quieter verses and loud choruses. Fallon's gravel-like vocals work perfectly on this track. They use the age-old patent of stopping the music while the singer proclaims something before kicking back into the chorus. Works every time.
I think it's rather obvious I'd recommend this little number. Yes, some people will argue many tracks are frankly too 'similar' for this to be a five-star album, and where it to be five-star then we'd all have to argue that more of you will have heard of this band. But do yourself a favour a make your new favourite band of the day the Gaslight Anthem. If the Boss is happy to grace the same stage as them then they must be half decent!
Gaslight Anthem herald from New Jersey in the USA. Bruce Springsteen was born in New Jersey in the USA. Get the link?! But this comparison is overly harsh to a band who's first album has energy and catchy hooks aplenty. Lead single "The '59 Sound" bombards you with guitars and drums thrashing away, "Old White Lincoln" chorus sticks in your head for days and closer "The Backseat" takes emotional levels high sounding like a cross between The Killers, My Chemical Romance and the Boss. The Bpm may rarely lower, and on first listens it may sound like an onslaught to your ears, but stick with it and the songs part to each become a classic. It'll be interesting to see where they go next with a well worn sound and a Glastonbury appearance with Bruce leaving them essentially nowhere to go, but here's hoping their second LP is as good this.
The 2nd full length but 3rd overall album from The Gaslight Anthem is the record which really through them into the limelight of millions of people.
The opening track is a brilliant opening, 'I saw tail lights, last night, had a dream about my first wife...everybody leaves so why, why wouldn't you?'
A big statement about a guy who has almost given up on a relationship before it even starts, it's a statement alot of people can relate to and that goes on for the entire album.
The 2nd track, headline single 59' Sound, is the song which caught the attentions of an entire generation it seems, the chorus is almost feverish in it's effectivness, I don't know anyone who's listend to it who hasn't loved that sing and gone onto get into the band full time.
Different to Sink or Swim, not as raw and has catchier songs, this album is a voice we can all relate to and I doubt you could find a more modest, down to earth, nice band in the world at the moment with so much to say that we can relate to.
After hearing Great Expectations on the Radio, I set off in search the band that had captured my imagination with the first genuine American sounding rock song I had heard in a very long time. Having just rekindled my interest in a number of great American artists like Springsteen and Neil Young, Great Expectations gave me some hope that maybe the States were not just offering up great political hope at the moment, but bands with a sound you don;t get over here, and that once in a while you can't help but crave. The '59 Sound has that retrospective feel to it, but when they get a bit of energy into their music it sounds as fresh as anything out there. The track The '59 sound and 'The patient Ferris wheel' are other stand out tracks for me, although I will admit that sometimes one song can head into another without a sufficient change in tempo, that can make it fell a little 'samey' in places.
But all in all something I enjoyed immensely and great for jogging with your ipod, or those warm summer nights!
Although the Gaslight Anthem have released other albums prior to this one, it was 'The 59' Sound' that catapulted them into the awareness of casual rock fans. Throw in a cover appearance on Kerrang! and a listing high in the charts for 'Best Album of 08' and all the ingrediants were there for this band to blow up in the mainstream.
Much has been made of the Springsteen influences that this band so proudly wears on their sleeve, and theres no getting around it - They do occasionally crib whole lines of lyrics, ideas and the melodies of the Boss, but this is more like Springsteen after a strong flask of coffee and a heap of sugar and cigarettes.
Opener 'Great Expectations' kicks off with the crackling of a vinyl record, before rollicking along at a great pace, more of a upbeat folk-punk sound than the typical crunchy modern punk. The title track is already finding its way into advertising campaigns and as background music for football coverage, its a great song- full of life and energy.
'Patient Ferris Wheel' is my personal favourite on here, reminsicent of Hot Water Music at their most accessible, it bounces along , forcing you to sing along with it. It all culminates in 'The Backseat' another joyous, Springsteen influenced paen to youth and romance
A great, catchy album - and a refreshing change to see a young band concentrating on material rather than image.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Great Expectations
2 '59 Sound
3 Old White Lincoln
4 High Lonesome
5 Film Noir
6 Miles Davis And The Cool
7 Patient Ferris Wheel
8 Casanova Baby
9 Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
10 Meet Me By The River's Edge
11 Here's Looking At You Kid