Band Aid: The Gaslight Anthem
here’s a lot you can say about the Gaslight Anthem, but pretty much everything you will or won’t love about this band is going to be a personal response. This is as it should be: the Gaslight Anthem are an intensely personal band, their songs a musical love affair with life.
Hell, there’s not much point in me trying to describe why I love this band as much as I do when Matt Ramone over at the Kids Are All Dead summed it up perfectly:
It’s a heartfelt kick in your spiritual nards and a pat on the back and a drink in the coziest, friendliest dive bar. It’s confessing your secrets to a strangers, things you would never tell your wife or mother or brother or best friend. It’s every dark corner of your mind and every triumphant celebration of life. It’s the ringing in your ears when you’re alone with your thoughts. It’s holding on to your divorce papers 20 years after the fact and the mournful sigh when you see your dead best friend’s favorite movie in the video store.
Gaslight is everything I love about American music. It’s soulful and it kicks ass and it’s happy and sad all at the same time. You can fuck to it and you can cry to it. It’s perfect for drinking and hanging out and having a case race with your friends. It’s a perfect front porch album. If you’re twenty it’ll make you feel like you’re fifty, and vice versa.
They rock, too, mixing country, rock and punk songwriting staples into a melting pot held together with Brian Fallon’s distinct and intensely soulful voice. But it’s not the music, as great as it is, that makes this band what they are: it’s the passion. It’s a cliche to describe a punk band as “passionate”, but every so often it’s true, and right here it’s oozing from every pore.
The Gaslight Anthem is a band for the wistful punk romantics of the world, the people who are nostalgic and obsessed with the bittersweet, pained by the scars that the world has left them with but still determined to sing, and dance, and smile, and get drunk with good friends because that’s a beautiful thing you can always turn to no matter where life leaves you.
We’re Getting A Divorce, You Keep the Diner (from Sink or Swim, 2007)
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts (from Senor and the Queen, 2008)
The ’59 Sound (from The ’59 Sound, 2008)