The B-Sides review by The Gaslight Anthem

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  • Released: Jan 28, 2014
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (5 votes)
The Gaslight Anthem: The B-Sides

Sound — 8
The Gaslight Anthem has been compared to Bruce Springsteen so much it is ridiculous, but this album shows that side of their sound a little bit more than previous releases - with some of their most Springsteen-like moments captured on a single disc. This compilation includes 11 tracks - all of which are either/and acoustic, live or cover versions of songs.

The album starts out with "She Loves You" which was an iTunes bonus track from the "American Slang" album, and this is the same version of the track. "The '59 Sound (Acoustic)" is an acoustic version of the title track from the album, "The '59 Sound." "State of Love and Trust (Live)" is a Pearl Jam cover that The Gaslight Anthem have been covering live for a little while, and they have actually had Eddie Vedder sit in live with them to perform this track, but not on this recording. "Tumbling Dice" is a cover of The Rolling Stones track, which The Gaslight Anthem originally released on the Australian bonus disc of "American Slang." "The Queen of Lower Chelsea (Acoustic)" is an acoustic version of the song found on the "American Slang" album. "Songs for Teenagers" is a cover of the song originally recorded by their ex-label mates, Fake Problems. This is definitely one of the stand out tracks from the album. "Great Expectations (Acoustic)" is an acoustic version of the song from the album, "The '59 Sound." "Antonia Jane (Acoustic)" is a cover of the song from the band Lightning Dust, which is a Canadian indie-rock duo consisting of two members of the hard rock band, Black Mountain. Gaslight Anthem originally released this cover on their Australian tour bonus disc for their "American Slang" album. "American Slang (Acoustic)" is an acoustic version of the title track of the album, "American Slang." "Boxer (Acoustic)" is an acoustic version of the song from the album, "American Slang." The compilation closes out with "Once Upon a Time," which is a cover of the song by Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, and was the iTunes bonus track for the album "The '59 Sound." Overall, this is a solid compilation of acoustic and live songs, but it would have been nice if an acoustic version of any of the songs from their debut album was included.

Lyrics — 7
Brian Fallon does a great job with the backdrop of acoustic instrumentation on this album, showing a side of his vocals that aren't always evident. The lyrics themselves are nothing new, but here are some lyrics from the cover track "Songs for Teenagers," which was written by Fake Problems: "Looking for love in all the wrong places/ Wanted to be famous but ended up in Naples/ Love is not the answer, I'm in love with this stuff/ I spent every last dime in the backseat of a stranger's truck/ It's okay, I'm all right/ I'll be okay/ First time It felt like I was gonna die/ But I've gotten pretty good at telling myself it's fine/ Anna talks me down and gives me sips from her beer/ Head pounding reveille, how did I get here? / It's all right. I'll be okay/ Let it go, let it go, all the way down, 'til there's nowhere left to fall/ It's a shame, all the ways we build ourselves up, just to let each other down."

Overall Impression — 7
This isn't so much new music, as it is a collection of songs that the average fan might not have unless they buy all the singles and special editions of albums, etc. This isn't a bad compilation in that context, providing you with some "hard-to-find" versions of songs by the band. My favorite songs from the compilation would probably be "Songs for Teenagers," "She Loves You," and "Great Expectations." This isn't necessarily a good album for new fans of The Gaslight Anthem as it doesn't necessarily give a true representation of their overall sound.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    One of the few current bands that people will remember in 50 years.
    lol good one
    Name a better band. Go ahead. Try it.
    Hot Water Music, Latterman, Iron Chic any of a million heartfelt punk bands with a little old school influence. I've never been able to get into Gaslight Anthem because they're just watered-down orgcore. Also, their cover of "Songs for Teenagers" on this disc is awful and they changed the lyrics to remove drug and sex references. Why? That's damaging to the songs. Gaslight Anthem has always been aping bands like Hot Water Music but they don't have the balls to make the really good, lasting songs that will stand the test of time. Gaslight Anthem will not be remembered for long. Heck, I barely remembered them until they put out this lame, cash-grabbing "b-sides" album with almost no new songs.
    Nero Galon
    Damn... I had to look up 'orgcore'. I had no idea that was actually a scene! Had a good laugh at Urban Dictionary Huge admirer of TGA and disagree that this is a cash grab as such. As mentioned, this is a CD for fans like myself who just want to hear more of them. To say this is a cash grab is like saying a band is trying to cash it in because they play gigs. People don't have to go see them live when they have a CD right? Thank you anyway for enlightening me on orgcore, gonna check some bands out to see if I like any. TGA aren't the biggest band in the world. And you're right, they likely wont make a huge impact to the grand scheme of things but they've inspired my tastes and many others enjoy them. I think they will probably be seen as the band that came after The Replacements. Some would say they're very obscure but they made a difference to others.
    enablers, kit fisto, diarrhea planet, the austerity program, caladan brood, renaissance sound, health, wooden shjips, big business, zu, poino, etc.
    R-O-F-L cue obscure bands that nobody's ever heard of, on three!
    are you mad that they're all superior bands but whatever, you can keep trying to hide behind the 'it's obscure' argument if you want because it's not like it takes a few seconds to find bands like these now, what with the internet and all
    Any band with diarrhea in it's name will be shit *ba dum tss* And Wooden Shjips are terrible compared to Gaslight Anthem.
    love The Gaslight Anthem, one of my favourite bands. but if you search youtube for some of the acoustic versions (or just Brian Fallon) then theres some better ones that the tracks on this collection...dont get me wrong still a great set of tracks.