Monday, June 28, 2010

The Gaslight Anthem — American Slang
The great undiscovered Bruce Springsteen album has been found, and it's called American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem.
The New Brunswick, N.J. quartet's third album, and the follow-up to 2008's The '59 Sound commercial breakthrough, offers 10 songs in 34 minutes. Those 10 tracks add up to one of the best records I've heard this year.
The Springsteen references may be obvious, but there's no escaping them since The Boss' sound is all over American Slang — perhaps aside from the final cut, "We Did It When We Were Young." It's my least favourite and I hear the influence of another stadium rock act in it: U2. The song starts slower than its predecessors and sort of builds, but not as much as expected.
Singer/lyricist/guitarist Brian Fallon is the focal point, as he should be, but guitarist Alex Rosamilia, drummer Benny Horowitz and bassist Alex Levine make major contributions to The Gaslight Anthem's punk- and soul-infused rock-and-roll. Producer Ted Hutt, who was also at the controls for The '59 Sound, obviously knows how to get the most out of the group, too.
There may not be songs as instantly catchy and anthemic as those found on The '59 Sound, but American Slang is a better and more consistent album overall.
You really can't go wrong with any of the songs on American Slang, and I don't seem to be the only person who shares that opinion. The public has picked up on The Gaslight Anthem, as American Slang debuted at #12 on the Canadian sales chart and four spots lower in the U.S. last week.
I'll give American Slang a 9/10 and remind everyone that The Gaslight Anthem will be touring across North America in July and August — including a show at Toronto's Sound Academy on July 14 and an appearance at Montreal's Osheaga Music And Arts Festival on Aug. 1.


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