released June 15th, 2010
from the album - American Slang
from all music
The Gaslight Anthem rose out of the fertile punk scene of New Brunswick, NJ, flaunting a unique style that melded the influence of Bruce Springsteen, Wilson Pickett, and various Motown groups with the rough, emotional grit of Hot Water Music and Jawbreaker. The band — comprised of vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon, bassist Alex Levine, drummer Benny Horowitz, and guitarist Alex Rosamila — began establishing a hometown audience after forming in 2005, and their soulful punk rock attracted wider attention upon the release of their first full-length album, Sink or Swim. Arriving in May 2007 via the local imprint XOXO Records, the album garnered accolades from punk zines and blogs alike. The increasing popularity was enough to score gigs with the likes of Against Me! and the Draft, and by the end of 2007, the Gaslight Anthem had played over 200 shows.
The band managed to secure enough down time between tour dates to record a four-song EP, Señor and the Queen, in Austin. The EP appeared in early 2008, as did an offer to join the roster of the California-based indie label SideOneDummy Records. The Gaslight Anthem signed with SideOneDummy and released their sophomore effort, The '59 Sound, later that year. Featuring a rough, rousing sound that took its cues from Social Distortion's melodic punk and Bruce Springsteen's heartland rock, the album found an audience not only in America — where eMusic deemed it the number one record of 2008 — but also in Europe, where Bruce Springsteen joined the musicians during their set at the 2009 Glastonbury festival. Following the Glastonbury performance, sales of The '59 Sound grew by 200%, whetting the public's demand for a follow-up.
The Gaslight Anthem rounded out the year by playing additional festivals — including Lollapalooza, Pinkpop, Reading, and Leeds — before returning to the studio in early 2010. Working again with Ted Hutt, the same producer who helped them shape The '59 Sound, the bandmates wrote and recorded the songs that eventually comprised their third album, American Slang.
With their hearts on their sleeves and their feet planted firmly in the garden state, The Gaslight Anthem’s third album, American Slang, plays out like an offering to Springsteen, the patron saint of heartland rock. The feeling on this album is considerably more relaxed. All of the punk rock tension and urgency have been replaced by a more patient and heartfelt mood. This change of pace really gives the listener the ability to sit back and take in the scenery on their musical Rust Belt road trip, making for a more moody, understated experience. There are still a few uptempo rockers on the album, with “Stay Lucky” and “The Spirit of Jazz” bringing back some of the speed that old fans might be used to. The rest of the album works in a more midtempo space, giving singer Brian Fallon’s weathered voice room to work, allowing him to really dig in and make the best use of the laid-back melody on “Bring it On” and the spaciousness of “We Did it When We Were Young.” The prevailing feeling throughout this album is that American Slang represents a more mature sound from The Gaslight Anthem, showing us a band that has grown up enough to start attempting to fill the shoes of their influences.
1 American Slang Gaslight Anthem 3:41
2 Stay Lucky Gaslight Anthem 3:08
3 Bring It On Gaslight Anthem 3:26
4 The Diamond Church Street Choir Gaslight Anthem 3:12
5 The Queen of Lower Chelsea Gaslight Anthem 3:39
6 Orphans Gaslight Anthem 3:23
7 Boxer Gaslight Anthem 2:46
8 Old Haunts Gaslight Anthem 3:29
9 The Spirit of Jazz Gaslight Anthem 3:13
10 We Did It When We Were Young Gaslight Anthem 4:12