The Gaslight Anthem exploded out of the New Brunswick punk underground with 2007's energetic debut, Sink Or Swim (XOXO Records). The Señor and the Queen EP (Sabot Productions) followed in early 2008, its ambition foreshadowing the band's stunning SideOneDummy Records debut, The '59 Sound. With its melding of classic rock, soul and punk power, the album proved an immediate critical and popular sensation, with The New York Times praising the "rich, lustrous songwriting" and "taut punk arrangements," noting that Fallon's "casually observed storytelling, overflowing with detail, seethes with a cool desperation reminiscent of Mr. Springsteen in the late '70s."
The '59 Sound proved equally successful on the other side of the Atlantic, with the band making history as the first ever to appear on the cover of England's estimable Kerrang! without having been previously featured in the magazine's pages. Ecstatic praise also rolled in from the notoriously hard to impress UK music press, culminating in the album's inclusion in an array of "Album of the Year" rankings, including Q, Rocksound, and NME, which called it "not only an essential document of punk rock soul but a record that will endure long into the future."
Having made their bones playing 200 nights a year in packed clubs across the US, Europe, and Australia, The Gaslight Anthem hit the road hard in 2008 and never looked back. The band headlined sold out shows around the planet and shared stages with an array of like-minded artists, including Social Distortion, Rise Against, Against Me!, and the aforementioned Mr. Springsteen, who joined the band onstage for stunning performances of "The '59 Sound" at 2009's Glastonbury Festival and Hard Rock Calling in London's Hyde Park. What's more, Fallon returned the favor, accompanying the E Street Band for rousing renditions of the Springsteen classic, "No Surrender."
"The whole time I'm up there," Fallon recalls, "I'm thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm on stage with my hero.' At the same time I'm going, ‘Oh my gosh, you've gotta do this on your own.' That's what the key is, to find your own spot. Once I realized that, I was like, ‘Yeah, let's do it. It's on now!'"
The Gaslight Anthem returned home in November 2009 and took a well-earned month off before getting back to work. The band had since left its native New Brunswick, with Rosamilia heading to Hoboken, drummer Ben Horowitz to Jersey City, and bassist Alex Levine to Budd Lake, NJ, with Fallon emigrating from the Garden State to not-so-far-away Brooklyn. Leaving home was essential for Fallon, who had to create space between his old existence and his new before putting pen to paper.
"We're not into just kinda being like a little footnote," says The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon. "We want to be The Ones, y'know?"
With American Slang, The Gaslight Anthem made an extraordinary leap forward towards that very goal. The New Jersey-based band's third long player revealed a remarkably powerful rock ‘n' roll outfit honed by two years of nearly non-stop touring. Singer/guitarist Brian Fallon's passionate lyrical approach has grown more personal and introspective, his raw throated vocals stronger and more resonant against the band's pulse-pounding dynamic force. Songs like "Bring It On," "Orphans" and the rousing title track bristle and burn with the spirit of soul, the energy of punk, and the artistic ambition of any hall of famer you'd care to name. American Slang is the battle cry of a great band finding its own voice and using it to shout to the rooftops and beyond.
Listen to Gaslight Anthem
|Sink Or Swim||2006||XOXO Records|
|Señor And The Queen EP||2008||Sabot Productions|
|The '59 Sound||2008||SideOneDummy Records|
|American Slang||2010||SideOneDummy Records|
|iTunes Session||2011||SideOneDummy Records|