Artist: Gaslight Anthem
Album: American Slang
Song: American Slang (Acoustic)
Today’s song of the day comes from a refreshing band that has been getting bigger and bigger over the last two records and for good reason. The Gaslight Anthem stormed into the public with their 2008 album, “The ’59 Sound” playing festivals with the likes of Bruce Springsteen. With heightened expectations from the mainstream and indie scenes on their next record, ‘American Slang” debuted at #16 on the billboard charts. The band has been touring in support of the album since its release this past May.
The song I am sharing with you all is the title track and perhaps the most popular from the record. However, I thought it would be nice to show a stripped down version of the song because I think it gives people a better idea of how the song originally is done, without the accompaniment and studio elements. While I prefer the studio version of the song, I thought it was important to show that front man, Brian Fallon’s vocals can stand alone if need be. His voice may not be the prototypical voice, but it works in the same way that Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Joe Strummer’s voice all worked well for what they were doing. My favorite part of the performance comes at the end of the second verse where he takes some liberties with the lyrics and passionately belts, “Honey waiting on us liars baby to come down and hang.” I could not help but get chills from the delivery there. That is the passion and approach I love to see in today’s new music.
For anyone who has heard or heard of the Gaslight Anthem probably knows about the comparisons they draw. Those being the obvious fellow New Jersey-born Bruce Springsteen, The Clash, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, and the late “70s punk and hardcore movement. While some critics say they are ripping off their heroes, I say they are simply wearing the influences on their sleeve and melding it into their own sound that is simply a good thing to hear in the mainstream. Heck, their name pays homage to an old club where Dylan got his career started along with other folk artists, called, The Gaslight.
I haven’t seen a new band since The Trans-Siberian Orchestra came out with their first Christmas album in the mid ’90s draw such a wide variety of fans. Kids younger than myself are drawn to them for the punk aspect and adults like my parents are drawn to them for the classic throw back feel. It is amazing to see them live for this reason because not only do they kill it live, but the crowd is so diverse that you cannot help but be taken aback. If you have yet to check these guys out, start today because I firmly believe there is something for everyone. Enjoy the opening weekend for College Football, and if you get tired of the announcers, maybe find some new music to listen to while hanging out with friends!