The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound


Album

The '59 Sound

Label

Side One Dummy/Shock

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Social Distortion – Bruce Springsteen – Against Me

Summary

Grab a whiskey and sing-a-long…

Rating

93 / 100
I love it when seasoned punk rock devotees embrace their rock n roll roots. Bands like Social Distortion, Against Me! and more recently Chuck Ragan (ex-Hot Water Music front man) wear the influence of blue-collar, classic American rock proudly on their collective sleeves… and The Gaslight Anthem are no exception. Over the last two years this Jersey-bred four-piece have gone from virtual obscurity to become one of the most talked about live bands in the world, and with a record as strong as The ’59 Sound I have no doubt that their profile will continue to grow.

If you’re yet to hear The Gaslight Anthem, imagine the soundtrack to a cramped, three-hundred capacity room, where every person in attendance is throwing back a few drinks and singing along as if their lives depended on it… sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

The slashing guitars and confident vocal delivery from Brian Fallon make “Great Expectations” the perfect choice to kick off the record, the stripped back production job giving the song the same vibe that it no doubt has when played in the live setting. Traditionally an album’s title track is supposed to be an accurate summation of the whole record, and in this case “The ’59 Sound” is right on the money. “Old White Lincoln” has the most memorable chorus that I’ve heard this year while “High Lonesome” is another song that benefits from The Gaslight Anthem’s simplistic approach to song writing, as it pushes the spotlight onto Brian’s intriguing lyrics.

“Film Noir” has the swagger of a tune that’s been sung a hundred times in shitty venues in every corner of the globe, which is followed by the coolest song title of 2008… “Miles Davis & The Cool”. Although the song itself shares a lot of musical similarities with U2 (fuck you Bono), Fallon and his troops still manage to stamp their classic sound all over it. Picking the pace back up is “The Patient Ferris Wheel”, an absolutely corker of a track that once again imbeds another chorus hook firmly into the listeners memory bank, although the same can’t be said for “Casanova, Baby”. Far from being a bad song, it simply doesn’t leave the same long-lasting impression that its predecessor does. You could almost get drunk off the wailing guitars that lead “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”, while the fist pumping anthem that is “Meet Me By The River’s Edge” is sure to become another live favourite, as is the near-acoustic “Here’s Looking At You Kid” and “The Backseat”.


Conclusion

The Gaslight Anthem are one of the few bands that have managed to commit their live energy to record. Buy The ’59 Sound and learn the words in time for their next tour. You won’t regret it.

Tracklisting

1.    Great Expectations
2.    The ’59 Sound
3.    Old White Lincoln
4.    High Lonesome
5.    Film Noir
6.    Miles Davis &<

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