American Slang review by The Gaslight Anthem

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  • Released: Jun 15, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (62 votes)
The Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
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Sound — 8
After the fantastic The '59 Sound, The Gaslight Anthem were going to have to dig pretty deep to pull out an album that could be more than just its sequel. The band's obvious Springsteen and jersey shore sound influence is as clear as ever, from the opener American Slang through to the heartfelt ballad We Did It When We Were Young (WDIWWWY). The music of American Slang takes the rawer style of Sink or Swim, and combines it with the recording quality of The '59 Sound, the result being a record that maintains The Gaslight Anthem's root sound, but makes it more enjoyable and accessible. Songs such as Old Haunts and The Queen Of Lower Chelsea touch on new styles and a seemingly "less is more" attitude, but The Gaslight Anthem maintain the connection to their root style with songs like Boxer, Orphans and The Spirit Of Jazz, so old fans can hardly consider that the old sound has perished, but rather been broken up by new stylistic movements being used in songs like The Queen Of Lower Chelsea, where the drums are reduced to rims, the amps are turned off (essentially), and Brian's words take centre stage.

Lyrics — 10
Lyrically and vocally, Brian Fallon breaks all his previous boundaries on American Slang, my prime example being a stunning key change in The Diamond Church Street Choir, which always makes the hairs on my arms stand on end. The lyrics are as genial as ever, heartfelt and at sometimes it seems choked with emotion, such as WDIWWWY, from opening line "Don't write me no more letters / My mailbox is full of bombs". People downloading the album from iTunes will also receive the bonus song She Loves You, which is another vocally stirring performance.

Overall Impression — 8
It is arguable that with their third album, some fans may become annoyed as some of the songs seem very much the same as both Sink or Swim and The '59 Sound, and fans can, and potentially will find this to be becoming rather monotonous and repetitive. However, others, such as myself, will lap up this album joyfully as The Gaslight Anthem remain unchanged by the fame that was brought to them by their second full-length album. The Gaslight Anthem never disappoint, and it feels like their Born To Run moment is still yet to come, and when it does, they will be catapulted to the fame level that the brilliant Springsteen himself achieved back in 1975.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    The answer to the 'stadium filling/simple formula' problem is simple: Because its such an overused formula also used by so on and so forth amount of bands. Infact the only thing thats different is the 'slightly beefier' vocals. 4 decent reviews though, even if the trumpets are blown a bit much.
    huevos
    What the hell does Americanisation mean? It's not even a real word. Perhaps the melting pot/blurring of cultural divides, but Americanisation? I normally don't dwell on surface issues so much, but it seemed like you trying to tie in the album name with the review. They seem like a decent band, but I would hardly think that their impact will be major, both in the underground and the mainstream. They could end up being highly successful, but there's just some bands that you know won't have much gravitas in the future.
    Bozjoarmstrong
    alex-33 wrote: Saw them at Hard Rock calling...too bad they were followed by the Hives, who made them seem really blah. But then again, the Hives show up any band they play with.
    Gaslight and Hives? That must have been freaking awesome.
    alex-33
    Saw them at Hard Rock calling...too bad they were followed by the Hives, who made them seem really blah. But then again, the Hives show up any band they play with.
    Beergarette
    duncang wrote: foster.getagrip wrote: I like the cd. The review was good but a little biased. ...biased towards what? #_of_the_beast wrote: It would make sense that on a website dedicated to guitar they would score it a 6.7. Again, what
    My guess is that by biased, he meant that it was made under the mentality to praise them as flawless in every way possible, no matter what. At least, that's what I thought of the review. Still, it's hard to find a review not similar to that, seeing how more often than not, it's a fan of a band that's going to make a review. And I think I can understand beast. This is a site called Ultimate-Guitar, so it's easy to fall into the impression that people aren't going to like these guys because there isn't any blazing guitar solos of any kind. However, I gave these guys a chance and listened to 59 sound and have to say, they're pretty good. While not a band I would play over and over on my Ipod, but definitely a band I'd pick over Linkin Park or Nickelback. I just hope these guys don't get too much success. I think The Gaslight Anthem is one of those bands that might lean into making radio friendly love songs and such, if their fan base expands too much, too quickly. Then again, I haven't exactly listened to enough of these guys to judge them.
    duncang
    foster.getagrip wrote: I like the cd. The review was good but a little biased.
    ...biased towards what?
    #_of_the_beast wrote: It would make sense that on a website dedicated to guitar they would score it a 6.7.
    Again, what
    Fabrizet
    I've heard a little bit of this album on their myspace and I was not impressed. The '59 Sound had some songs which are much better than the ones I've heard so far. Everyone else seems to like them so maybe I'll give it a real shot.
    Iann17
    I've got The Sink Or Swim and 59 Sound Records and to be cliched I had Sink Or Swim long before they had any kind of an audience I've really tried with American Slang but I just don't like it. With the marketing behind them this band can't fail but I think its a step too far away from what came before for them to really please the existing audience they have.
    dimestore_saint
    MusicFiend2310 wrote: MusicFiend2310 wrote: dimestore_saint wrote: Gaslight is by far my favorite band making music today. True, I'm really biased. So you can take my opinion or leave it, but I think everyone should give these guys a listen. Their depth and simplistic writing style really brings it back to the way rock was intended to be. Although American Slang isn't my favorite album of theirs, it shows how the band has grown and where they're headed. Which looks like a damn good place "stay hungry,stay free, and do the best ya can." I'm retarded haha, anyways...any relation to the Gaslight forum?
    nope, although I do have an account on there haha I was so bummed when i found out they we're using that
    MusicFiend2310
    MusicFiend2310 wrote: dimestore_saint wrote: Gaslight is by far my favorite band making music today. True, I'm really biased. So you can take my opinion or leave it, but I think everyone should give these guys a listen. Their depth and simplistic writing style really brings it back to the way rock was intended to be. Although American Slang isn't my favorite album of theirs, it shows how the band has grown and where they're headed. Which looks like a damn good place "stay hungry,stay free, and do the best ya can."
    I'm retarded haha, anyways...any relation to the Gaslight forum?
    MusicFiend2310
    dimestore_saint wrote: Gaslight is by far my favorite band making music today. True, I'm really biased. So you can take my opinion or leave it, but I think everyone should give these guys a listen. Their depth and simplistic writing style really brings it back to the way rock was intended to be. Although American Slang isn't my favorite album of theirs, it shows how the band has grown and where they're headed. Which looks like a damn good place "stay hungry,stay free, and do the best ya can."
    dimestore_saint
    Gaslight is by far my favorite band making music today. True, I'm really biased. So you can take my opinion or leave it, but I think everyone should give these guys a listen. Their depth and simplistic writing style really brings it back to the way rock was intended to be. Although American Slang isn't my favorite album of theirs, it shows how the band has grown and where they're headed. Which looks like a damn good place "stay hungry,stay free, and do the best ya can."
    kaptink
    I think it's good but like the new hold steady album it suffers from being just good after a few amazing releases.
    MusicFiend2310
    I think this is the best album of 2010, and maybe for a while. Being a Springsteen fan, finding a band that embraces both Springsteen and punk influences was amazing. Maybe I'm a bit biased. I'm a diehard fan of this band, and I wasn't disappointed at all. Diamond Church Street Choir...completely different than anything they've ever made, and not punk at all is my favorite song on the album. Orphans...amazing intro, verses, chorus, bridge, and the 4 chord cliched progression...which I love. Brian Fallon is an amazing lyricist. He's great. He's a poet. Alex is a great guitarist. Just because he doesn't "shred" like all those mainstream rockers doesn't make him less of a guitarist. This band does a lot for me, has done a lot for me. And I know I will be singing their songs in 2045. Of course, it's all about opinion. They're the greatest band in the world to me right now. Have I heard every band ever? No. But they are to me. And everyone in the world could completely disagree. Does that make me wrong? Nope. I've found that music reviews are rarely accurate...
    Private Eye
    I love these guys. I found them early on, right before the Senor and the Queen EP was released and it's been a lot of fun watching them progress, both musically and in terms of popularity. I think they topped "The '59 Sound" with this release, but my favorite is still "Sink or Swim." I just wished there were more than 10 songs on American Slang. 12-14 would've been nice.
    #_of_the_beast
    It would make sense that on a website dedicated to guitar they would score it a 6.7. This album is a phenomenal release. Keep it up guys.
    swarley
    I actually think it's their best. It's less Bruce and more them. No quoting other people this time around, minus "Wait a minute, wait a minute"
    TJ1991
    I love this band, 59 Sound has to be one of my favourite albums. American Slang is pretty good, but not great. Considering the amount of potential they have, this is a bit of a disappointment really. Still, on its own merit it is a pretty good album, worth multiple listens.
    duncang
    huevos wrote: What the hell does Americanisation mean? It's not even a real word. Perhaps the melting pot/blurring of cultural divides, but Americanisation? I normally don't dwell on surface issues so much, but it seemed like you trying to tie in the album name with the review. They seem like a decent band, but I would hardly think that their impact will be major, both in the underground and the mainstream. They could end up being highly successful, but there's just some bands that you know won't have much gravitas in the future.
    Americanisation is the adoption of American culture and ideology in other countries. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/a... nisation?r=75 And they're already highly successful!