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The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (Cover Artwork)

The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem: The '59 SoundThe '59 Sound (2008)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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Contributed by: LiamSKLiamSK
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The Gaslight Anthem's debut album Sink or Swim turned a lot of heads upon its release, and the band become quickly singled out as one to watch for the future. The effortless blend of punk, soul and blues; the poetic, atmospheric lyrics which powerfully evoked nostalgic imagery of rural America offer.
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The Gaslight Anthem's debut album Sink or Swim turned a lot of heads upon its release, and the band become quickly singled out as one to watch for the future. The effortless blend of punk, soul and blues; the poetic, atmospheric lyrics which powerfully evoked nostalgic imagery of rural America offered its listeners a soft, melodic, Americana sound. Their next release, the four-track EP Señor and the Queen, cemented their reputation as punk rock's worst-kept secret, and paved the way towards a European headlining tour as well as a spot on the 2008 Warped Tour. The anticipation surrounding this album has been immense, and when you combine this with the the recent announcement of a fall tour with Rise Against, Alkaline Trio and Thrice, and the out-of-nowhere appearance on the cover of Kerrang! magazine in the United Kingdom, it seems as though all the cards are in place for this album to be the one that strikes it rich for the Gaslight Anthem.

The Gaslight Anthem excel in not only making catchy, yet sincere music, with profound and imaginative lyrics -- the single characteristic which the Gaslight Anthem truly raise the bar at is their remarkable ability to musically construct the distinctive contexts which provides the setting to so many of the tales told through their songs. The '59 Sound offers more poetically told tales of love, dancing, driving and girls called Maria, set against the quaint American rock'n'roll backdrop that band have been constructing throughout their previous two releases. The context is so delicately assembled so as the music instantly conjures up cinematic imagery of rural Americana, complete with cowboys, river banks, roadside diners, plaid shirts and ferris wheels.

It is a world which clearly holds a strong connection with vocalist Brian Fallon's heart, who is obviously enchanted by the era, evidenced in "High Lonesome" as he sings "In my head there's all these classic cars and Alamo cowboy bands," and in "Old White Lincoln" when he reveals "I always dreamed of classic cars and movie screens." Fallon's lyrics are, again, the highlight of the album, and the most crucial attribute in the band's ability to create the nostalgic atmosphere which surrounds every song they make. It's a talent which shines on throughout both the morbid and joyful songs, and often reads like poetry. The lines "And they burnt up the diner where I always used to find her, licking young boys blood from her claws. And I learned about the blues from this kitten I knew, her hair was raven and heart was like a tomb" arrive within the first 40 seconds of the album, while it's consistently littered with gems like "Come and take my hand, I'll be the very best I can. But I still won't be your man. I'm still these nervous feet and heart of stone. Forget this dead-mans town, I'll take you home."

The album has continued the softer tone that was displayed on the Señor and the Queen EP, with Fallon preferring to display and develop a soulful vocal style instead of the raw punk rock vocals occasionally employed on earlier songs such as "Red in the Morning." And while this softer approach fails to produce songs with quite the same anthemic intensity of the excellent "1930" on their debut album, the album documents the progression of a band developing their own sound and becoming more confident and secure in their own music.

The '59 Sound is an album which further develops the distinctive sound which sets the Gaslight Anthem apart from their competitors and will clearly continue to fuel their rapid ascent in the music industry. It is an album which is consistently excellent from a band which has yet to record a poor track. The album expertly combines old and new, punk and soul, while Fallon's lyrics and Alex Rosamilia's lead guitar take the listener on a cinematic journey through melancholy and elation, remorse and optimism. The result is an outstanding second album from a band who are still growing, improving, and taking control of the direction they take their music, and based on the quality of this album, they will have no shortage of followers.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Against Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bowlercap (January 23, 2012)

I will never love another album the way I love "The '59 Sound".

blood-guts-punkrock (August 14, 2011)

Sink Or Swim...Great album
59 Sound...OK album
American Slang...Wank!

A pattern is starting to emerge. I highly doubt i'll be buying their next album.

The best tracks on this are great expectations, 59 Sound and Film Noir but some aren't that great in my opinion and the album is nothing special but compared to their latest attempt its pure gold!

mikeladwig (December 1, 2009)

this got old after 3 listens. hero worship unwarrented.

Alien (October 21, 2009)

This is great, but I think sink or swim is better.

eatdogs (October 8, 2009)

this is a fantastic album just like the their first one and the ep. i still haven't got to see them yet. every time i had a chance somthing came up. i just want to watch them live with a good buz goin and money left after the show to get some fast food.

telegraphrocks (September 27, 2009)

One year later... 7 it is.

clashrock11 (August 29, 2009)

i know that by now, everybody has heard of tGA, but i just wanted to throw in my two cents about 'em as well. i was moderately impressed w/ their debut, "sink or swim", but upon hearing a leaked version of this album, i knew i would be heading on over to the record store the week it came out.
althought "the '59 sound" was the first single off the album, i think "high lonesome" is my favorite song. "great expectations" is also one of the best opening tracks ever.
got to see them in austin over this last summer, and they were awesome. can't come recommended highly enough.

shrapnel (July 11, 2009)

Did this leak yet?

souls21 (May 20, 2009)

This was my favorite record that came out last year. Just about every song on here is a 5 star track. I'm a little worried tho about where they may be headed from here. It seems like their punk roots will soon be left behind.

fourtyfour (March 16, 2009)

Holy shit, I remember seeing this band just 2 years ago at ABC.
Now they are selling out everywhere.

That was fast.

PtvnSux94 (December 3, 2008)

Three for Three with great records, amazing songs and great songwriting

Lmnndtlgrph (November 19, 2008)

this band is disgusting.

Kurasuke (October 21, 2008)

When I first listened to this, I thought it was extremely bland. It was slow and kinda boring. It wasn't till my 3rd or so listen that I really started to appreciate it. Now I understand why people think this is the best album of the year.

flannagin94 (September 29, 2008)

I am waiting for them to write a bad record but I do not think it will happen

Boulder (September 18, 2008)

When it comes from the heart it comes out right. These guys crafted an album with the intention of every track being built for the stage. I can't wait to catch the show and I can't stop listening to the album.

rakmike (September 15, 2008)

Good, not great. The reverb and the lack of variation in the vocals make the lyrics drown out at times, like punk-ambient white noise

joeynukes (September 13, 2008)

I'm just not feeling it. I mean maybe if I was doing the soundtrack for a movie about a teenage girl running away and finding herself or just on a really long drive with one of my parents, it would be on my playlist, but on a normal day it probably get much of my rotation.

Not to say that it's a bad album it's just a C /B-. But I can imagine hitting it hard on one of my Modest Mouse binges.

stmoffatt (September 10, 2008)

Great record. Finally someone is making true punk once again. Cant wait to see them live on halloween.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (September 9, 2008)

Best album of the year..... so far.

schrutebucks (August 29, 2008)

good album but sometimes this band just seems alomst too earnest. Springsteen is never hard to listen to lyrically but sometimes Gaslight is for me. Also, they reference The Counting Crows. Blurg.

INDW (August 27, 2008)

just to add my 2 cents, unnecessary as they are;

fantastic album. less immediate than SOS but just gets better with every listen

AM! comparisons are completely unjust; AM! completely changed stylistically and ideologically. whether this is because of a major move or not is obviously debatable but the fact is they were divorced from their org past. i see no reason why TGA should have to do this; no suggestion their ideology should exclude major record lables and their style is already that way inclined.

Loved ones comparisons are unjust; they are just way way better.

insinceredave (August 26, 2008)

I like it, though I can see why people might take issue with the reverb on his voice. Look past that and you've got a cracking record with great lyrics

TEF (August 25, 2008)

"Does anyone else think that Patient Ferris Wheel is the best song of this album?"

I totally agree. There's something ridiculously catchy about that guitar riff during the chorus.

And, an added bonus for having Dicky Barrett doing backup vocals on that song.

drugmoney (August 23, 2008)

pretty good, sink or swim was pretty good too. a couple of the songs remind me of hotwatermusic songs. i feel a little bouncing souls at times, not a bad sound at all. i like it

mike_killroad (August 23, 2008)

All the songs are in the same key and have the same progression and nothing on this album grows from their previous work. It may be catchy it sure isn't useful or exciting.

iandisurvive (August 23, 2008)

has punk gotten this stagnant? how could a mediocre release by a derivative new jersey bar rock band become the album of the year?

balaka2 (August 23, 2008)

sink or swim was a pretty decent album, i havent heard this yet but everything im reading has me excited for it. that being said, can these guys really be called "punk"? i dont know where one would classify them, but squashing them into the admittedly bloated punk category doesnt seem right. and they referenced a fucking counting crows song. not only referenced it, totally ganked the chorus. ugh.

thegooch (August 23, 2008)

has everyone heard the itunes exclusive song, "once upon a time?"

slow and a bit of a grower, but an amazing song...there is the last commenters "bluesy and heartful" song

letmego (August 22, 2008)

too much time was spent on the production

the strong point of Sink or Swim & and Senor and the Queen was his voice..

not a single song sound more heartfull, blues & soul than Red at Night say what you want to say

Cant wait to catch them live in toronto tough its better than most of the shit release these day

Fresnoska (August 22, 2008)
flannagin94 (August 22, 2008)

This album is amazing. Just saw them play live on Long Island, one of the greastest bands of the present day.

timorous_me (August 22, 2008)

"i'm glad TheMike mentioned the killers in his comment because i thought i was the only one picking that up."

I noticed that on a few songs, but I think it's more that the Killers admitted to having a HUGE Springsteen influence on that last record, and TGA obviously have a huge Springsteen influence as well.

Mental_Decay (August 21, 2008)

Perfect driving around album.

It's honestly the only thing I've listened to the past few days.

skolarx (August 21, 2008)

i'm glad TheMike mentioned the killers in his comment because i thought i was the only one picking that up.

Drunken3rd (August 21, 2008)

Absolutely love this album.

Does anyone else cringe when Dicky Barrett sings on "The Patient Ferris Wheel"?
Would have been the best song on the album, but for the first 4 times I listened to it I had to skip it. I just couldn't take it, it seems so out of place.

It probably rocks hard live though.

Sliced-T (August 21, 2008)

Seems like a tight solid album, but it still doesn't really do anything for me.

NavinJohnson (August 21, 2008)

Meet Me By The River's Edge - references "The River" by Springsteen

Also name-drops No Surrender and Bobby Jean and side by side no less!

diplodocuscore (August 21, 2008)

Not as good as Thursday.

magneticbedhead (August 21, 2008)

The more I listen to this cd the more it grows on me. There is some great lyrics in these songs. Great band with a lot ahead of them. Saw them at Asbury Lanes in the beginning of the summer. That will probably be the smallest venue I will see them again in. Well deserved.

damo (August 21, 2008)

massively overrated band. really can't see why so many stroke one off over these. a bog standard album

Rudy87 (August 21, 2008)

This may easily grab #1 on my top of '08. Lagrecia, Static Radio, Polar Bear Club, Paint It Black, No Harm Done, Landmines, Less Than Jake, Everybody Out!, and The Mongoloids are most likely going to round it out, but we'll see...

happynolucky (August 21, 2008)

"I LOVE them, but we need a list going of what lines they lift from other music/film/books. Probably won;t be left with much."

Great Expectations - Great Expectations by Dickens

The '59 Sound - references Marley, from Dickens' A Christmas Carol

High Lonesome - That Counting Crows line I posted below

Miles Davis & The Coo - A reference to Mile Davis' "Birth of the Cool"

Casanova, Baby! - A play on the title "Bosa Nova Baby" by Elvis

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues - The title of Tim Robbins' book

Meet Me By The River's Edge - references "The River" by Springsteen

Here's Looking At You Kid - title taken from a quote from Casablanca


Film Noir - Monroe hips references a line in the tom wait's song "Hold On"

TheMike (August 21, 2008)

I was at the CD store today, but this wasn't there. i dig pick up Alligator by the National, though. Which is a great album. So it seems, anyway.

paulrulzdood (August 21, 2008)

I still think I like "sink or swim" more because it was more rockin', had more energy and faster songs. I miss the stuff like "drive" and "I woulda called you woodie joe" and "wooderson" that reminded me of the Loved Ones mixed with HWM.

This album goes more in the Springsteen/folky/americana/country-fried punk direction, which I still love, but a few more straightforward anthems like they had on the first album would have been sweet and a few less songs like "even cowgirls get the blues" which is the first Gaslight Anthem song I've heard that makes me want to press "track skip".

its still the shit though, don't get me wrong.

Bong!

paul

24hourpriapism (August 21, 2008)

listening to this again at work.

the gaslight anthem are most definitely the goo goo dolls of punk.

timorous_me (August 21, 2008)

"I LOVE them, but we need a list going of what lines they lift from other music/film/books. Probably won;t be left with much."

Great Expectations - Great Expectations by Dickens

The '59 Sound - references Marley, from Dickens' A Christmas Carol

High Lonesome - That Counting Crows line I posted below

Miles Davis & The Coo - A reference to Mile Davis' "Birth of the Cool"

Casanova, Baby! - A play on the title "Bosa Nova Baby" by Elvis

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues - The title of Tim Robbins' book

Meet Me By The River's Edge - references "The River" by Springsteen

Here's Looking At You Kid - title taken from a quote from Casablanca

timorous_me (August 21, 2008)

>>I LOVE them, but we need a list going of what lines they lift from other music/film/books. Probably won;t be left with much.

Nap (August 21, 2008)

Does anyone else think that Patient Ferris Wheel is the best song of this album?

booker_pee (August 21, 2008)

I still don't understand how anyone can think 'Sink or Swim' is better than this. That album was painfully mediocre...this is amazing.

mikexdude (August 21, 2008)

I don't see what any of this has to do with the Descendents.

maxpowers (August 21, 2008)

I know I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying... but this album has to be album of the year...

we'll see what kind of value it holds in six months, but right now that has shot past The Loved Ones, LaGrecia, Coldplay and Atmosphere...

Shit... in six months this might be at the top of my favorite albums of all time list.

happynolucky (August 21, 2008)

sorry about the double post, the internet is kind of shitty in iraq

happynolucky (August 21, 2008)

i remember back when sink or swim, everyone was making a big deal about these guys. It took me a while to get into SOS but this record instantly clicked with me. from the first listen of "Here's Looking at You, Kid" to the title track, and "Great Expectations", there's just something in the songs and the sincere lyrics that make Gaslight Anthem stick out from most other "punk" bands today. For some reason, you can just tell that they enjoy doing what they are doing.

I know everyone is raving about this band...but, this record will go down as one of my favorites and probably one of the best, if not the best, record of 2008.

happynolucky (August 21, 2008)

i remember back when sink or swim, everyone was making a big deal about these guys. It took me a while to get into SOS but this record instantly clicked with me. from the first listen of "Here's Looking at You, Kid" to the title track, and "Great Expectations", there's just something in the songs and the sincere lyrics that make Gaslight Anthem stick out from most other "punk" bands today. For some reason, you can just tell that they enjoy doing what they are doing.

I know everyone is raving about this band...but, this record will go down as one of my favorites and probably one of the best, if not the best, record of 2008.

mattramone (August 21, 2008)

The point is that Miles Davis is amazing.

damnitsderek (August 21, 2008)

"miles davis & the cool" is the best song about miles davis since the ergs "books about miles davis"

I think it's the only song about Miles Davis since then.

conebone69 (August 21, 2008)

I simply love this band

People can complain about the production but I believe it's to fit the theme of the album.

It becomes easy to overlook as the songwriting has improved compared to Sink or Swim.

Not flawless but a very solid and enjoyable record

Hell, even the b-side is good

Sort of like "Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts" Pt.2

reidpgh (August 21, 2008)

good stuff. go steelers!

badbrain (August 21, 2008)

@ Vincent
"Also, isn't the line from Casanova Baby "Boy, I stil wanna be your man" and not "But I still won't be your man""

I always heard it as "for you", not "boy"

i.e. :

"I'll do the very best I can for you,
I still wanna be your man"

So yeah I'm with you on the "wanna" instead of "won't", but I don't know where the "Boy" part came from which I've seen on a couple lyrics sites. I don't have the booklet yet though so idunno. I'm pretty sure I'm right though.

seth_uber_alles (August 21, 2008)

I have yet to get into these guys. I listened to this record today and it just seems dull to me. Nothing about the music sticks out, and the lyrics seem very safe. They seem to be like the new Against Me!, but AM! had all that raw aggression and power, this just seems like bland highschool party makeout music... What am I doing wrong?

anomalyone (August 21, 2008)

its "and in my head theres all these classic cars and OUTLAW cowboy bands"

according to the lyric sheet, at least.

Torgo (August 21, 2008)

I LOVE them, but we need a list going of what lines they lift from other music/film/books. Probably won;t be left with much.

thegooch (August 21, 2008)

"miles davis & the cool" is the best song about miles davis since the ergs "books about miles davis"

timorous_me (August 20, 2008)

I just found out that "High and Lonesome" contains a paraphrased Counting Crows lyric:

"maria came from nashville with a suitcase in her hand, she said she'd like to meet a boy who looked like elvis."

victim (August 20, 2008)

This is right there as my favorite of the year, every one is comparing it to Sink Or Swim which I think is a hard comparison because it is softer.

Its competing with Loved Ones, Ceremony, Banner Pilot and Project 27 for me. Static Radio Nj is growing on me too

And I assume Fucked Up and D4 will be phenomenal

Johnny_J (August 20, 2008)

If you can get past the echoed vocals (which I think are just fine, but not for every song) and the fact that they are not simply a "punk" band, I think the record is amazing. The lyrics are some of the best written songs Gaslight/Brian has EVER done. My only problem is that there are no straight-up acoustic songs... that was a bummer. Good review, very good record.

TheMike (August 20, 2008)

Was never a big fan of this band. I haven't been able to get into a new punk in a long time. But I loved the title track. But I figured, it's probably just one really neat song among a bunch of duds. I checked out some amazon previews, though, and nearly all of them carry the same sad-without-making-you-want-to-kill-yourself vibe. And I think I might like this a lot. Sounds more like a rock album with punk tendencies, though. Which is fine by me.

I kind of like the Killers, so the sound doesn't bother me.

Vincent_M (August 20, 2008)

Also, isn't the line from Casanova Baby "Boy, I stil wanna be your man" and not "But I still won't be your man"

leecorsoisapenis (August 20, 2008)

I wish this review would have given this lame shit 1/2 a star. The org comments would be out of this world as far as laughability goes. Now it's going to be a bunch of people stroking the dick of this band...

Well, I guess that's what the comments would have been anyway.

Jim

telegraphrocks (August 20, 2008)

This record suuuuuuuuuucks!

- Max Beemis

mattramone (August 20, 2008)

abnd

paulrulzdood (August 20, 2008)

let it out let it out let it out you're doing alright

paulrulzdood (August 20, 2008)

i'll second the complaint from the dude who said there's too much reverb on the vocals and it softens it up. kind of conjurs up a "tiger army" vibe which I doubt they were going for.

i'm just nitpicking though really, its a great album and better than anything i'll ever write.

paulrulzdood (August 20, 2008)

it doesn't immediatly pump my nads like "sink or swim" did, but its off the chain. this band rules, probably the most promising new punk band I've gotten into since "the loved ones" and if anything I like these guys better.

Paul

erff (August 20, 2008)

this band is ok. i just dont see all the hype around them.

SloaneDaley (August 20, 2008)

abnd

SloaneDaley (August 20, 2008)

this abnd suck...and like everything else they do it is simply glorious

greenvandal (August 20, 2008)

band sucks.

WYOR (August 20, 2008)

Some good tracks, not as good as SOS, and definetly not album of the year.
It still kicks ass and i can't wait to see them live

cuapunkradio (August 20, 2008)

Great album minus a couple tracks. I can't wait to see some of these live. 'Miles Davis' slays. Glad they are getting the attention they deserve as they write better songs than pretty much every band featured on this site.

Chris, parte in rva for the show? I believe I'm coming down

SaladFingers (August 20, 2008)

1930 demo originally called She Coulda Raised the Titanic and recored by This Charming Man

http://www.sendspace.com/file/0o8vho

enjoy

and words can't express how good this album is. Maybe not as good as Fucked Up or OWTH heads, but thats not a diss to Gaslight cos those 2 bands mentioned have released world beating records

Vincent_M (August 20, 2008)

@ Toby

Get some chips from the Cool

Tobin_Ownlife (August 20, 2008)

I just ate a really good sandwich. The problem is, it would have been way better with some potato chips, but I only have a $10 and the food court in my building is closed. Now I'm still just a little hungry and I don't know what to do.

insinceredave (August 20, 2008)

Score is for mikexdude making me laugh

T-Rock (August 20, 2008)

Seriously? Gaslight is way better than Strike Anywhere.

stuckinbielers (August 20, 2008)

Here's a dilemma:

Gaslight and Strike Anywhere playing on the same night in London. Which one?

mikexdude (August 20, 2008)

Insinceredave, that's what she said.

insinceredave (August 20, 2008)

Looking forward to getting my hands on this

iamthebat (August 20, 2008)

I don't think this is better than Sink or Swim, but it's close. Film Noir, Great Expectations, Casanova, and a few others are some of their best.

xote (August 20, 2008)

I don't like this band. Can't talk shit about them. Just don't like them. Sounds pretty bland to me.

mikexdude (August 20, 2008)

Noir*

mikexdude (August 20, 2008)

Film Noor and Miles Davis and the Cool give me boosebumps. Best songs on the album.

jimbojones (August 20, 2008)

Terrific album. I've listened to it non stop for a week and i'm still not sick of it. Not a weak song in the bunch.

patrickewing (August 20, 2008)

This CD lacks the piss and vinegar found in Sink or Swim. I like every song on this disc, but throw them together and its a bit underwhelming. It feels like a lot of the same thing despite a lot of the songs sounding completely different. I'm fairly sure if they did a different production on the vocals keeping them gritty rather than throwing the reverb which softens everything up, I'd probably like the disc a more as well.

A bit of a side note, but I will also openly admit I am one to get really hung up on a magically first disc and think everything after that simply wasn't as good.

colin (August 20, 2008)

the songs on this are better than sink or swim
the production is worse

all in all it's an equal socre.

ven89 (August 20, 2008)

Pretty good. Production sucks. It's no Sink or Swim. Still though, pretty good.

nameless (August 20, 2008)

I still don't have this yet. Fuck!

nocigar (August 20, 2008)

This album is fucking awesome. Worth all the hype, everything this band has done is great. Although I like Sink Or Swim better, I can't stop listening to this.

HooverStreet (August 19, 2008)

Mediocre at best.

the_problem_with_fire (August 19, 2008)

sickboi, thanks for keeping it civil. i haven't heard all this, i'll have to check this all out and give it a chance

inspection12e (August 19, 2008)

Yea they closed over a year ago. Karl and company are gone.

Where have you been?

rakehand (August 19, 2008)

bert's is gone? what the hell

inspection12e (August 19, 2008)

"haha, dude that was totally me. listening to it right now. come down to the east in cafe and i'll let you listen to it.

glad you like the tattoos."

haha serious? If so I didn't really notice what your tats were I just saw you had some as I walked by you to get to the "g" section. I was mainly being spiteful because now I have to wait two more days. So ya fuck you! I don't know if you are from the area or just a college kid but Bert's was so much better. Rainbow is okay and Wonderland is a fucking joke. I don't know how that place stays open.

sickboi (August 19, 2008)

To "Problem With Fire":

It isn't a "forced image". All of these guys come from humble upbringings. They are all pushing 30 (except Alex L) and have worked shitty jobs, or played in minor bands for years. They all grew up in Jersey, where their scene is amazing, and a big part of their success. When you have a lot of close friends that you've know for years, that want to see you succeed, and are willing to help in any way possible; awesome things happen.

-chris

brown (August 19, 2008)

Posting in a Gaslight Anthem Review.

It won me over, I wasn't a big fan of sink or swim, but they've really topped themselves with this album

sickboi (August 19, 2008)

Amazing album, start to end. From Brian's blues/soul/rock influences like Sam Cooke, Tom Petty and Marvin Gaye; to Benny's jazz-meets-punk drumming; to Ghost's blatant, yet justified Cure-inspired lead guitar. But what I enjoyed most was Big Sleaze's improvements on bass. For someone who learned to play just prior to joining the band, he's come a long way. Especially dig the Radiohead "Creep" effect he uses on title track.

-chris

the_problem_with_fire (August 19, 2008)

correction: people absolutely LOVE this BAND around here. i'm not sure they are worth this much adoration. they put on a live show and make some decent music but i personally still cannot get over the fact how forced their "working class" shtick feels. just look at the cover of this thing! but hey, at least they aren't wearing eyeliner and flat ironing their hair to the side.

the_problem_with_fire (August 19, 2008)

holy shit people here fucking LOVE this album. these guys are what yellowcard is to absolutepunk.net

(yes, i'm hoping for a response from yellowcard guy)

Wesley_Snipes (August 19, 2008)

The low score is for cancelling out all the other high scores.

baldsteve (August 19, 2008)

OK everybody has it, everybody is enjoying them touring, does anybody have a live version (not youtube) of them doing American Girl? Any live sets floating around besides that weird acoustic thing?

CobraSkullsFan (August 19, 2008)

i must have missed something cause i have been following all the hype from the very beginning and even pre-ordered a copy. i love half of it but it gets redundant. the lyrics are great, but damn, after track 6 or 7, I just skip to "heres looking at you, kid" (best track) and take it out.

briennis (August 19, 2008)

i'm sure this band sucks.

llmp (August 19, 2008)

Am I seriously the only person pissed about the vocals? It's still a good album, but damn...it could be so much better without those silly effects.

Nap (August 19, 2008)

It's near perfection. First I claimed so much about the production, now I think it's good even thought I'd like so much to listen to a second version of the album in a "Sink or Swim" way.

bigbuzzaldrin (August 19, 2008)

haha, dude that was totally me. listening to it right now. come down to the east in cafe and i'll let you listen to it.

glad you like the tattoos.

inspection12e (August 19, 2008)

Fuck the guy who went to Rainbow Records in Newark, DE who bought the last copy right as I walked in. Your tats are lame.

cheesetits (August 19, 2008)

God damn.

TommyPickles (August 19, 2008)

Punk

Holy_Balls (August 19, 2008)

Alot of comments already. Diggity doowoop damn!

mattramone (August 19, 2008)

"I saw daylights last night and I dreamed about my first wife.
Everybody leaves and I'd expect as much from you."

Gets me every time. My ex-wife is a train hopping crust punk. God bless her.

Oh,uh, and epic thread.

damnitsderek (August 19, 2008)

"Casanova, Baby!" is one of the catchiest damn songs on this album. I've been listening to this non-stop since it leaked, and I'm still not even close to being sick of it.

JaredK (August 19, 2008)

Its good but I like the tempo of Sink or Swim much better. Maybe it will grow on me but I was not blown away by any stretch. Solid, plenty of good moments but can't ever see liking it more then Sink or Swim. I like the Bastards of Young side of that split better then this so far.

shhhdinosaur (August 19, 2008)

I agree with 24hourpriapism, especially about the whole MTV/disowning thing. This band really is nothing special. I mean, to each his own, but seriously, I cannot justify the hype at all.

jacknife737 (August 19, 2008)

noice

mikexdude (August 19, 2008)

This album is almost flawless. One of my top 5 of the year.

ThoughtriotAF578 (August 19, 2008)

pretty awesome, can't wait to pay an obscene amount of money to see them on that rise against tour.

Problematiclogic (August 19, 2008)

Really, really good record.

I'm so glad this band exists.

spazner (August 19, 2008)

Really enjoying this album, and glad I got it while summer's still here. Definitely a good soundtrack for the season.

And, as someone mentioned in the comments on the NYTimes article... these guys will get "Against Me!-d" over the next year. As in, they're going to be the buzzed-about punk band who will be dragged into the mainstream whether we like it or not. I do think Gaslight's better suited for that kind of attention than AM!, but hopefully it doesn't become as much of a circus in Gaslight's case.

flowerfeeder (August 19, 2008)

Whoa...this record totally lives up to the hype.

Solid.

robbiefree (August 19, 2008)

From the Kerrang website

"Gas Light ANthem?? Another Emo-Screamo lame ass band!

Sick of these Emo bands coming out nowadays ... just playing music to get layed, by which I will add by recject type outcast girls that you wouldn't even second look in the street.

Also what is with those lip piercings!
How to make a fuck ugly kid look uglier lmao

Anyways i'm seeing a great band on the 21st! Anti-flag!

www.myspace.com/Subpopculture87"

haha anti-flag.... some people were also complaining about how they had no idea who gaslight were, thus they were 'gay'. "cover slipknot or soulfly!"

ashtraymonument (August 19, 2008)

album of the year.

Trauma16 (August 19, 2008)

Great album. In my top 5 of the year indefinitely.

misterspike (August 19, 2008)

Album of the Year, in my opinion.

Duffmancantbreatheohno (August 19, 2008)

Love this record, love this band.

ddb43 (August 19, 2008)

Hype is indeed diserved. This shit is so good. I can't currently say this is better than Sink or Swim, but it could eventually pass it. Easily one of the top albums of the year...no doubt.

jonnyrawker (August 19, 2008)

I dont care what anybody says... i have a serious obsession with this band right now. Soundtrack of my life. Can not WAIT to see them with A3, Thrice and Rise Against...

breakout (August 19, 2008)

I pre ordered this which to me suggests that i should have got it today, but alas, all I got in the post today was a massive biochemistry textbook

24hourpriapism (August 19, 2008)

also, i'm pretty sure the powers that be are setting gaslight up to become the next jimmy eat world. i just have a really funny feeling that their songs are going to be popping up on The Hills and various WB teen dramas really, really soon. and then the .org will disown them, and i'll say i told you so.

24hourpriapism (August 19, 2008)

saw them on sunday night with polar bear club, was not impressed. copped the album for free last night (promo copy at the store), and still for the life of me, cannot get into this. the instrumentals are great, and the lyrics WOULD be great if sung by a more charismatic, distinctive lead singer.

if the loved ones released this album, i would say it'd be one of the best albums of the year. but for me, it's only listenable and ultimately some fair, inoffensive background music.

ramo (August 19, 2008)

I'll probably won't slobber over this like most people would but I do agree that "The '59 Sound" is definitely better over "Sink or Swim".

Listening to the album and watching their performance this past Saturday at the Knit, don't be surprised if they move on to bigger and better things (labels, venues). Regardless the album has universal appeal for those willing to listen to an all honest to goodness rock record. You'll probably won't find nothing like this out there now.

Ramo

xkgb84 (August 19, 2008)

score is for both the album and the massive shit i just took in the office bathroom. it smells like death. and death would get 5 stars.

oops. forgot the score before.

xkgb84 (August 19, 2008)

score is for both the album and the massive shit i just took in the office bathroom. it smells like death. and death would get 5 stars.

oldpunkerforever (August 19, 2008)

quite good, a band that all the hype actually lives up to. still love blue jeans and white t shirts tho, man that song is brilliance-oldpunker-

branden (August 19, 2008)

my 2008 number two, just behind the night marchers. i give it an 8.5.

Scarysmurf (August 19, 2008)

Point off for the slap vocals that I really don't notice anymore.

mattramone (August 19, 2008)

Absolute Punk needs to choke on a cock.

bxbomber (August 19, 2008)

absolutepunk review

The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Record Label: SideOneDummy Records
Release Date: August 19, 2008

For years, we Fallon's have had to deal with the only famous carrier of our surname being an unfunny, untalented hack who laughs at his own jokes and headlines bad movies with Queen Latifah. It hasn't been easy as everyone believes we are linked by name association; it's an ugly life that has resulted in many courtroom visits for potential name changes (suggestion: Max Power) and long nights of agonizing emotional breakdowns.

Thank our lucky stars New Brunswick, New Jersey produced The Gaslight Anthem - and subsequently, another Fallon to the mix. This time, our leather-clad, rough-patched vocalist proudly totes the Fallon name (no relation) and is the punk rock equivalent of New Jersey's other Golden God, Bruce Springsteen. In fact, Brian Fallon matches the Boss so much, he could be unofficially deemed Lil' Boss - okay, well that name needs some work, but just work with me here.

While it's no secret they are New Jersey boys, the band's sophomore effort The '59 Sound is hardly a slump and leapfrogs their impressive debut, Sink or Swim, which was one of 2006's big sleeper hits. Packed full of vivid imagery and storytelling that resembles Born to Run/Darkness on the Edge of Town*-era Springsteen, The '59 Sound is an impeccable work of punk rock art where each listen offers something new, never taking any hint of imagination or personal effect away from the listener; this is the album The Killers wanted to make with Sam's Town but were unsuccessful at. Fallon sings in a breathy echo the duration of the album, offering up nostalgic anecdotes of discovery, longing and growing up through the classic years when mainstream music meant something. It's soulful, affectionate and punk rock in the sense that the band never refutes to clunky musicianship and tries to force a message. The songs are all equally lax and meaningful, never lacking in expressing a vast amount of emotional trajectory to throw at the listener's target.

Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, Street Dogs) provides the record with a gritty, live feel (similar to many albums of the early 1970's) - it's as if you're listening to a blues band take on a punk rock attitude, giving you twelve stark confessionals about life, love and the pursuit of "the good ol' days". The quiet moments are downright beautiful and honest without sounding melancholy ("The Backseat," "Here's Looking At You, Kid"); it's obvious when things jazz up a bit ("Film Noir," the country boogie of "Casanova, Baby!") that the band is never reaching for a "new" niche or holding flashing neon lights above their heads - they are being themselves, and it provides the record with such a genuine, workhorse inspiration that you become absorbed into the sound, the words.

Benny Horowitz has a real E Street knack to his drumming, and delivers some incredibly smooth and raucous playing here; the electricity felt between Alex Rosamilia and Fallon's guitar playing is so vibrant, it practically turns your veins into lightning bolts. Alex Levine's bass is buried behind everything most of the 42 minutes, and while it's hushed, it provides a intoxicating, subdued rhythm to songs like the title track and "Miles Davis and the Cool".

Perhaps the most fun this record brings is not only the obvious all-American Springsteen qualities, but the events and happenings Fallon references throughout. The entire album is a salute to the classics, whether it be the infamous "day the music died" (if I even have to explain that, you should be researching your music history, post haste! Hint: the album title is a reference to this monumental event), The King or high top sneakers, this is the record The Gaslight Anthem were born to make. Yes, I know ... that is cliche to say - but cliches are often said because they are so damn 100% true!

Everything here ought to make music fans both young and old proud to have working ears. Different from any other New Jersey punk band out there, The Gaslight Anthem isn't recycling anything in a tired fashion - they are reinventing the classic Americana tradition we still proudly reflect on, and doing it in a way that so many other bands wish they could have done (or will do) on their second full-length. The scene is already crowded with boring, generic pop bands banking off former success stories - The Gaslight Anthem are simply looking farther back into their musical roots and branching out.

I think I can definitely say now that ... it feels good to be a Fallon.

VictorIkpeba24 (August 19, 2008)

Max Bemis thinks that album sucks.

weffjebster (August 19, 2008)

oh, my world
it is ok

abracadaver (August 19, 2008)

Album of the year. Still, not THAT much better than "Sink Or Swim."

Franco (August 19, 2008)

Is anyone going to review the matt pryor chris conley tour????????

skolarx (August 19, 2008)

i'm actually amazed at how much i like this record being that i didn't care for the band when they opened for the loved ones a few months ago. only thing i'm not sold on is the echo on the vocals. something about that bugs me. overall i'd say the record isn't quite up there with the loved ones or the hold steady's for my favorite of the year but it's definately light years ahead of most everything else

thepopeofchili-town (August 19, 2008)

I'm new here, but just wanted to comment on the album of the year (Maybe tied with LaGrecia, but right now this one's winning).

darkdouchebagdarrel (August 19, 2008)

this shit is crazy dope.

darkdouchebagdarrel (August 19, 2008)

sonic bliss.

baseball (August 19, 2008)

Great follow up. Not the best record I've heard this year, but top 5. As much as I love this band, I just don't think these lyrics are impressive enough to go higher than 8/10.

Still, I can't think of too many bands whose first two albums have been this good.

AmericaRules (August 19, 2008)

it's good.

ahopeagainsthope (August 19, 2008)

This is in a two-way dogfight with the Lawrence Arms' "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and Alkaline Trio's "Maybe I'll Catch Fire" for my favorite album. It deserves every bit of praise it has and will receive.

chrisafi (August 19, 2008)

Come on guys. Fight Fight Fight!!!

My two cents, better than Sink or Swim. Just.

thus_spoke_sean (August 19, 2008)

thats cool that the editors posted some alternate reviews in the comments.

overall I think this album 'defines' the band more than Sink Or Swim, but I feel that the songs are a little weaker.

Neill_Cawley (August 19, 2008)

I like the additional two reviews posted below, although I didn't read them, because this one was really fantastic. Nice job.

I give the record an 8. The songs sounded way better live, and I blame the vocal echo (sorry guys, I take you to be a very genuine band, but that was trying a little too hard). It also loses a point because it is just not as good as Sink or Swim.

mattramone (August 19, 2008)

I like it better than Sink or Swim.

HentaiFlag (August 19, 2008)

Posting in a epic thread

colin (August 19, 2008)

this isn't as good as everyone here will make it out to be.

but it is solid. the fucking production bugs the hell out of me though.

scientistrock (August 19, 2008)

I'm posting to get my score in there, and then never looking at this again. This is not only my favorite record of the year, it's my favorite of all time.

jamespastepunk (August 19, 2008)

Posting in an epic thread, but on a serious note, this record is awesome.

I don't know how many times I've listened to it (60 ?), but it's been worth it.

T-Rock (August 19, 2008)

Record of the Year. If I had to choose an album to describe my thoughts and life at the moment, this would be it. Can't say enough about this album/band. Love "Great Expectations," "Here's Looking At You Kid," and the title track, but they're all top notch.

P.S. I'm expecting 8000 posts.

theonetruebill (August 19, 2008)

So can people finally stop talking about this album now?

dev (August 19, 2008)

Easily album of the year 2008. Inside the top 3 albums of all time on my list.

davesanta01 (August 19, 2008)

Easily their best.

inagreendase (August 19, 2008)

Also, I am wearing my red and gray flannel today in celebration of this album's release, even though I don't slobber over this band as much as the lot of you.

McFlynnTHM (August 19, 2008)

Probably my favorite album of the year. Really just an incredibly solid record.

bryne (August 19, 2008)

Great record.

SloaneDaley (August 19, 2008)

yeah isn't the line outlaw cowboy bands? I'm still waiting for my copy in the mail so I can't say for sure but Alamo doesn't make a lot of sense.

inspection12e (August 19, 2008)

I anxiously await the completion of my work day so I can go buy this.

thegooch (August 19, 2008)

"alamo cowboy bands?" davy crockett and jim bowie are stoked

seeing them (gaslight, not crockett and bowie) tonight @ record release show

SloaneDaley (August 19, 2008)

I'm glad I didn't bother putting my ideas down to screen there is enough of them floating around. simply put Gaslight lives and breaths the history of rock n roll. they know their way around a song in the exact same way a good friend knows just the right buttons to push to completely break down your fronts and facades.

moneenerd (August 19, 2008)

best fucking band going right now.

lostandclowned (August 19, 2008)

i'm into it.

timorous_me (August 19, 2008)

Fantastic album

inagreendase (August 19, 2008)

Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
by Jelone

I’m always wary when I check out a Recommended If You Like description of a band. It sets the bar too high. Sorry, gravelly voiced punk band that writes songs about feeling guilty and getting drunk, but you don’t sound enough like Jawbreaker and/or Hot Water Music. Same goes for you, female-fronted pop punk band that doesn’t really sound that much like Discount. The worst possible thing you can tell me in an attempt to turn me on to a new band, though, is compare them to Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, and yet that is exactly how I’m going to describe The Gaslight Anthem’s The ’59 Sound.

Formed in 1972, The E Street Band provided the musical muscle needed for frontman Springsteen to concoct his elaborate love letter to rock ‘n’ roll, soul, folk, bluegrass, gospel, jazz, and blues. Music became Bruce’s own church, something he now plays up live with promises of a “rock ‘n’ roll baptism.” As a lyricist, Bruce remains a top tier, highly descriptive narrator of losers and misfits. From Nebraska’s economic fallout to Born to Run’s get-rich-quick desperation to The Rising and Devils & Dust’s more politically minded tales, Springsteen is a master chronicler of failed romances, business schemes, and family ventures. Sometimes all that’s keeping him, and his characters, alive, is hope and a song.

It is with slight hesitation that I apply those same virtues (life is rough, but music is good) to The Gaslight Anthem on what is arguably their finest release to date, The ’59 Sound. Frontman Brian Fallon is one of the finest lyricists in punk rock today, and we’re lucky to have him. While Bruce strove, and continues to strive, to showcase his musical roots instrumentally, Fallon vocalizes his many loves. Miles Davis and Tom Petty get shout outs on “Mile Davis & the Cool” and “Even Cowgirls Get Blues,” respectively, but where Fallon really succeeds at honoring his influences is on his Counting Crows ode, “High Lonesome.”

“High Lonesome,” like a lot of TGA songs, is about girls and trying to get by. “Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand / I always kinda, sorta wished I looked like Elvis,” Fallons says, mimicking Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz from “Round Here.” In “Round Here,” Maria wishes she could meet a boy who looks like Elvis Presley. While I feel it’s kind of lame for Fallon to nick someone else’s lyric for a chorus, I also love this cohesive moment of pop music fandom. Fallon doesn’t rip off Counting Crows; he defines life’s many moments through pop songs. Songs can convey more in three minutes than films can do in three hours or books in 300 pages. Like Fallon says himself in the track, “It’s a pretty good song / Maybe you know the rest.”

But enough with the music history and English class interpretations: Let’s talk about rocking. The ’59 Sound is a massive improvement over debut Sink or Swim, a record that was merely good, and lives up to the promise generated by perfect EP Señor and The Queen. The ’59 Sound is chock full of mournful vocals, bluesy guitar work, and some of the best damn songs this side of Darkness on the Edge of Town. It’s always exciting to catch a band in the middle of their development, and right now, it feels as if The Gaslight Anthem is invincible. Whether they’re kicking out the jams like on the lead single/title track, or getting extra melancholy and mellow on “Here’s Looking at You, Kid,” the band simply cannot fail. RIYL if you like Bruce Springsteen, punk rock, well-told stories, memorable lyrics, and things that are ridiculously awesome.

inagreendase (August 19, 2008)

Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
by DarthNader

Though I'm sure nearly everyone reading this is already aware, The Gaslight Anthem made quite a splash in the punk community with their debut full length Sink or Swim. Disregarding the handful of naysayers that seem to pop up in the comments section of every news post regarding them, it seems the Gaslight Anthem have started their career off on the right foot. Rather than push the style they near perfected on Sink or Swim to it's breaking point on the next full length, The '59 Sound echoes a conscious change in the band's sound.

As it is spelled out in the album's title, The '59 Sound feels s bit older than the majority of music released today. The production gives a nostalgic feel, with Brian Fallon's vocals echoing and the guitars sounding crunchy and distorted. The band have also adapted their songwriting to this mentality. Anyone who heard the Senor and the Queen EP (which bridged the gap between the two full lengths) got a taste of this, and the band expand on the stylistic changes that they introduced on that EP. One of the most noticeable results comes in the pace of the album. Though it had it's slower moments, Sink or Swim chugged along at a steady tempo for most of the album. This time around The Gaslight Anthem add a few more slow burners and a few less chord heavy rock songs. The two opening songs ("Great Expectations" and the title track) charge ahead with some fire but the middle of the album feels much less straight ahead. The songs "Film Noir" and "Miles Davis and the Cool" come in at 5 and 6 to break the pace. The former boasts a chillingly minimalistic verse before transitioning into a heavier chorus. "Miles Davis", which is one of the most interesting tracks on the album, feels relaxed like nothing on Sink or Swim did. With a simple quiet drum beat and lyrics highlighted by the chorus of "Don't wait too long to come home/ my how the years and our youth passed on/ Don't wait too long to come home/ I will leave the front light on" , it is something entirely different from the majority of the songs the band has written in the past.

Similar to Sink or Swim , tracks 8 through 12 of The '59 Sound are where the real gems are to be found. "Casanova, Baby!" moves along with accented snare hits to a smooth chorus of "Oh my my Virginia" and the lead single "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" has a bit of a swagger with its meandering opening riff. The last two tracks, however, close the album out perfectly. First "Here's Looking At You Kid" drifts along with clean guitar picking and chilling toned down vocals, then "The Backseat" with it's summertime lyrics and pounding crescendos puts the album to bed.

Listening to the The '59 Sound without comparing it to Sink or Swim is extremely difficult, but the best way to experience them is separately. Brian Fallon said during the making of The '59 Sound that this was going to be their career defining album. It seems, however, that by straying from their past sound so much, they have redefined themselves. Listening to the Gaslight Anthem can mean completely different things depending on the song, which is the real strength of their music. Sure, a song or two ("Old White Lincoln") might be a bit drab, but with The '59 Sound The Gaslight Anthem have made something completely new, without losing the appeal they had in the first place. Considering they released their debut album about a year and a half ago, they have already surpassed any expectations for a band of their age. At the rate they are going, the Gaslight Anthem have a majestic career in front of them. Let's hope they stay around, because music this powerful and genuine is truly something special.

The_Internet (August 19, 2008)

I have really been a buzz with this guys lately.

inagreendase (August 19, 2008)

Here's two more reviews we got in, but we'll probably be posting an editor-written review on Friday:

Archangel (August 19, 2008)

Six hundred comments, six hundred five star reviews.

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