It feels a little weird to call an album that will undoubtedly be among my favorites of 2008 a disappointment but it needs to be said. I was expecting so much from The ’59 Sound (the second full-length from the New Jersey quartet The Gaslight Anthem) but hate that it isn’t as good as it probably should be; or at least as good as I wanted it to be. Perhaps I should explain myself.
I really liked the raggedly rootsy punk of their debut full length Sink or Swim but then fell head-over-heels for the Lucero meets Springsteen nostalgic punk-inspired American rock of their EP Senor and the Queen. It showed a slight but hugely effective refinement in sound. Still a little punk but moving towards something else. I was A-OK with that.
When The ’59 Sound was released in August, I guess I just expected more for I know what these guys are capable of. It hits and misses even though it hits more often. Singer/guitarist Brian Fallon’s earnest and raspy vocals are still present but they are (somewhat unnecessarily) drenched in overly retro slap-echo and too much of the lyrical content of The ’59 Sound just isn’t working for me. Many of the choruses are amazingly catchy but what I once called “honky tonk hardcore” now sounds more like retread throwback Americana that it needs to. The guitars are (again) toned down and resist the urge to really rock the fuck outta you. nstead they jangle just enough that you can envision dusty old boots stepping onto the pavement from some vintage Chevrolet. Don’t get me wrong, this is a damn good album, I just wish there was a little more “oomph” somewhere in The ’59 Sound.
MP3 | The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound The ’59 Sound
MP3 | The Gaslight Anthem – The Backseat The ’59 Sound