The Gaslight Anthem
Jul 24, 2012 Web Exclusive
It's compulsory to mention the name Springsteen when talking about The Gaslight Anthem, right? If so then that's that, given how comparisons between The Boss and his fellow New Jersey natives' latest record Handwritten can generously be described as tenuous; I might as well talk about how I expect Tony Soprano to roll up mid-album. Those familiar with the band's oeuvre will find few surprises here, although if you're not familiar but were (for some reason) eagerly awaiting a new Goo Goo Dolls release then this will at least serve to tide you over.
All of the band's usual tricks that have served them well enough up to now are present. The urgent minor chord riffs are present and correct on every single song up until they remember to throw in "National Anthem," an acoustic ballad right at the end about small-town Americana and, er, the universality of love and stuff, as are the "woah-oh"s and epic vocals that sound like Bon Jovi during the great throat lozenge prohibition era.
In fairness to Brian Fallon & Co., their honest, working class everyman rock shtick is at least believable. Nonetheless, it also seems about 10 years out of date, and releasing it whilst Springsteen is mid-tour only serves to heighten their aura of lightweight superfluousness. (www.thegaslightanthem.com)
Author rating: 4/10
Average reader rating: 8/10