Expectations were high for American Slang, the third album from The Gaslight Anthem. The Garden State band has been earning a very good reputation, and with reason. I had the pleasure of hearing them at Bonnaroo, and they had a great high-energy sound. This energy is matched on American Slang. Even the slowest songs feel as thought it is building towards something epic.
Various influences abound in each song. Of course there are more than a few nods to The Boss, which is not surprising, considering this band hails from New Jersey. The guitars bring a more modern indie sound, but the vocals are the pure middle class rock of Bruce Springsteen. The bass and drums lean more towards pure driving rock. Songs like “Bring It On” bring such a high in that you feel like singing along any time you hear it. “The Queen Of Lower Chelsea” hints at Talking Heads. The album flows beautifully from one song to the next, and even though the album comes in at a mere 35 minutes, I feel like I’ve spent a lifetime listening to this. And it was a good life. Songs like “Orphans” and “The Spirit Of Jazz” sound like they could be personal anthems, while songs like “Boxer” are just straight rock to cheer the soul.
This album is great rock, and leaves you feeling so much better after listening to it, like a high that you need again and again. If you get a chance to see them live, do it. The music transferred so well into a live show.
Pictures of The Gaslight Anthem at Bonnaroo 2010:
Check out their Bonnaroo performance here:
By: Joshua McRae