The Gaslight Anthem : Handwritten
The Gaslight Anthem’s signing to Mercury Records late last year was a call-to-arms for dedicated fans across the world to set forums ablaze with their worries for the future of New Jersey’s soul-punk pioneers.
Fortunately for those (presumably) pale-faced internet lurkers, any concerns they had have been knocked clear out of the park by Handwritten. The groups’ fourth album is an unyielding, instantly classic rock'n'roll record that any fan would be (and will be) proud of.
As a whole, the album leaves sepia-tinged refrains of old Americana behind in favour of more current and personal themes. Too Much Blood sees Fallon taking queues from his darker, moodier side project The Horrible Crowes and weaves a massive, filthy blues riff with one of the front-man’s most impressive and gritty vocal performances to date. Howl and Desire offer more punk verve in the vein of 45, and are set to tear the roof off venues all over the world.
Fallon again steps up his vocal performance on Mae, a stunning, slower cut that’s destined to be the soundtrack to many a summer romance and many a broken heart. The album rounds out with National Anthem, a poignant acoustic track on which the front man wields impassioned, contemporary lyrics not dissimilar to Bob Dylan.
Brandishing an altogether larger sound than they’ve achieved before and with their heartfelt, distinguished song writing very much intact, The Gaslight Anthem have paved the way for their ascent to the world’s arenas.
BY OLIVER PELLING
Best Track: Too Much Blood
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Ten PEARL JAM , Exister HOT WATER MUSIC, Elsie THE HORRIBLE CROWES
In A Word: Enormous