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Album Review: The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

It has been a great year for the alternative/punk scene as far as music is concerned. Not only has there been an onslaught of new British talent, but there has also been a lot of attention focused on bands from across the pond. A fine example of this would be New Jersey band ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ who have had great success this year with their album, ‘The ‘59 Sound.’

It started off as an average year for the band who had built a small British following based on their debut album ‘Sink or Swim.‘ However, back in America the band had been snapped up by major punk label ‘Side One Dummy’ and it was only a matter of time before the bands profile increased in the UK as well. Within months their debut single "The ‘59 Sound" was being shown on MTV, and the NME and Kerrang magazines were starting to pay a bit of attention to the band.

So do they have the hype, but, do they have the songs to justify it? One word - YES!

Comparisons have been thrown at the band left right and centre, ranging from the modern day Bruce Springsteen, to the punk equivalent of The Killers, and just about everything in between.
The album kicks off with two of the more punk rock songs of the album in "Great Expectations" which is a live favourite, and "The 59 Sound’" which was the first single taken from their album. Both tracks race along at 100MPH and don’t stop. The album then gets slowed down a notch with ‘Old White Lincoln’ and it becomes clear just where the Springsteen comparisons come from.

From then it’s a rollercoaster ride ranging from straight up punk songs ("The Patient Ferris Wheel, Meet Me By The Rivers Edge") and slower tempo tracks ("Miles Davis & The Cool".) To an extent, some lyrics do look like they have been lifted off the Bruce Springsteen greatest hits, but when the music is this good, who cares?

Modern day Springsteen? Maybe. Punk equivalent of The Killers? Debatable. One of the best bands of the year? CERTAINLY!

You could listen to this review, or the pale comparisons that are floating around, or you could go to your local record store, pick up the album, and make up your own mind, because one thing is for certain, this band definitely need to be listened to.

Alter The Press!