THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
RIYL: Bruce Springsteen, The Horrible Crowes, Pearl Jam
One listen to any song by The Gaslight Anthem, and it’s clear that the band is influenced by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’ trademark heartfelt, anthemic rock is stamped all over Handwritten. Sure, there are some punk-like flourishes, but The Gaslight Anthem feels much more like a product of the 80s than part of the modern, electro-infused sound. Their sound is almost perfectly tailored for an arena, with massive choruses, introspective lyrics, and a heaping helping of “whoa-ohs”. Brian Fallon has a great voice that is equal parts gravelly and melodic, but it’s his penned word that often shines. “Here Comes My Man” is a story of a lovelorn lady who is frustrated with the men in her life. It is indeed rare to hear a male singing from a female perspective, and the fact that the words are emotive and effective is quite impressive. Elsewhere, Brian sings about the everyday struggles of life, much like The Boss himself. The rest of the band is up to par, as the instrumentation on the album is unspectacular yet well done. The biggest issue with the album is that the first two songs set the bar too high for the other nine songs to compete with. Each of the eleven songs is enjoyable, but if the rest of the album were as energetic as “45” and as melodic as “Handwritten”, then the album would score significantly higher. As it is, these Jersey boys have crafted a solid rock album that is miles better than what is currently playing on rock radio. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Heartfelt Roots Punk
>> Recommended Tracks: “45”, “Handwritten”, “Here Comes My Man”
>> In Conclusion: Handwritten is predictable in all the right ways. This is a band that is operating in some kind of zone right now.