Album review: The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

Posted on 17 June 2010
By Danny Keightley
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You could quite easily spend a good paragraph name-dropping the amount of influences and sounds that The Gaslight Anthem have sponged up into their collective bodies over the years — the most notable being Springsteen’s direct influence into TGA’s previous record, The ’59 Sound which was rich in hooks and held a longevity that we simply don’t find much in modern rock music.

With their second effort, TGA have developed and modestly boasted their own idiosyncrasies, and whilst the hooks are few and far between, the consistency and direction is awe-inspiring — it’s chock full of subtleties making it one of those records that rediscovers itself through continuous plays.

Opening with the title track, with Brian Fallon’s effortless croon sitting atop of a Jimmy Eat World-esque riff; noticably leaner than its predecessor, and less blue-collar — Fallon is an adept storyteller, and he achieves this without ever being patronising.

The love songs are refreshingly free of typicality, replaced with witty lyrical play: ‘give me the children you won’t raise, tell me about the cool he sings you in those songs…I’m hearing he can tell you he can read your palms, if it’s better than my love, then bring it on.’

With choruses that often teeter on anthemic, and dynamic rhythms that are supported by a solid production job, The Gaslight Anthem’s American Slang speaks in a universal language to its listeners — one of the few essential rock records released in 2010 thus far.

You can check out the video above to see an in-the-studio glimpse of the recording and writing process that went into the record.

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