The Gaslight Anthem - 45 b/w You Got Lucky [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Gaslight Anthem

45 b/w You Got Lucky [7-inch] (2012)

Mercury Records

Although the release of Handwritten, the Gaslight Anthem's major label debut, is still nearly two months away, the band has offered fans an early sneak peek in the form of a two-song 7" that nods to its past, while offering a glimpse at its rapid forward momentum.

"45" is an uptempo rocker with a soaring chorus that would feel much more at home on the group's barn-burning debut Sink or Swim than 2010's commercial breakthrough American Slang. It's vintage Gaslight, if such a term can accurately be applied to a group whose debut came out a mere five years ago. The production is slightly cleaner than we've heard on a Gaslight record before, but it suits the tune perfectly. One listen to "45" will see oneself walking around for the rest of the day singing the chorus of "Ah-hey! Turn the record over! Ah-hey! I'll see you on the flipside!"

Speaking of the flipside, the group presents a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" on side B here. The Gaslight Anthem's members are no strangers to Petty, namedropping him in 2008's "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," as well as covering a couple of his songs ("American Girl" and "Refugee") in recent years. This is the first time, however, that one of their Petty covers gets a full-studio treatment. As with most songs it covers, the band doesn't stray too far from the original, but it does swap the song's dated, very '80s-sounding synths for a two-guitar attack.

Longtime fans worried that the Gaslight Anthem's newfound major label status would have a negative effect on its sound can rest easy. If "45" is any indication, Handwritten will be just as energetic and enjoyable as anything we've heard from the band yet.