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The Gaslight Anthem ( http://www.gaslightanthem.com/ )

American Slang
SideOneDummy ( http://www.sideonedummy.com/ )
The Gaslight Anthem serve their brand of punk rock with a slice of apple pie on the side. They are to punk rock in America as The UK Subs were to England. They are America. Everything they sing about, while somewhat universal, finds its roots in the tradition of Americana and its ethos.
Yet unlike the Subs, or the many english bands of the genre, The Gaslight Anthem don’t set out to smash the state. Instead, they seem to revel in it.
The band is set to release their latest offering American Slangon June 15th, and in doing so they have created their strongest showing yet. Far too often this band gets pigeon holed for wearing it’s influences too closely to its collective sleeve. Cast aside as Bruce Springsteen clones with Tom Petty and Clash references, they have a strong fan-base, but also equal number of detractors.
This was a band, who not even two years ago, was playing basement shows in their native New Jersey, who suddenly find themselves on the cover of major music publications and playing in front of thousands on a regular basis.
American Slang is the album that is the direct result of that growth. This is their most soulful offering yet. The record drips with passion, like their others, yet this time it seems more real. Gone are the Maria’s, the Mary’s and standard bunch of American girls, and in their place a lot more personal pronouns.
The bands main songwriter and frontman Brian Fallon has done a wonderful job of walking the line between tradition and evolution. While this record may seem familiar, they have removed most of what, lyrically anyway, made up most Gaslight Anthem songs.
Tracks like “Bring It On” and “We Did It When We Were Young” feel like his most personal yet, and I think it is as a direct result of the pronoun switch. If feels like he has let us into his psyche this time around.
Musically, this record sits somewhere between their first two. Tracks like“Boxer” feel like they would fit perfectly on their 2007 debut Sink or Swim, and yet the soulful and R&B sounds they teased us with on their sophomore record The ’59 Sound are more prevalent then ever before.
This is a record that is going to get their name on the lips of more then just their usual fans. Much like The Replacements were to kids in the 80’s, this is a band that has evolved into one that people of all ages can find something to grab onto.

This isn’t just album of the year material, this is career defining.

By Scott Thomson
Jul 6, 2010

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