Easy Street Records

Review: The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten


The Gaslight Anthem


By Andrew Lee

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I'm new to the Gaslight Anthem. At first listen their new album sounded to me like average rock music with cliché rock lyrics, sung by a passionate, standout rock front man. But between the first listen and the second listen I found myself thinking about what I'd heard, that little snippets were stuck in my mind (a "whoa oh" here, an "oh sha la la" there), and that for some reason I wanted to hear it all again.

At second listen I found that even if (and "if" being the key word) my earlier criticisms were correct, maybe it didn't matter all that much. This is a catchy, driving, relatively unsophisticated, yet easily likeable rock and roll album. These guys get compared to Springsteen a lot. I'd say well, yes, I see that - but if they have to be compared to famous fellow Jersey boys then I feel they're a little more like a scrappier, punkier Bon Jovi than Springsteen.

Notice the three different guitar approaches that open "45," the ear-tattooing guitar work on the last thirty seconds of "Mulholland Drive," the throat shredding vocal accents on "Too Much Blood," the mellow beauty of album closer "National Anthem" - all of these and many more memorable moments contribute to an overall impression that because they've clearly got heart, although these guys may not end up on the cover of Time, their music is certainly worth your time.

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