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Our Music Year No. 60: The Gaslight Anthem, ‘The ’59 Sound’

By From page B5 | March 01, 2013

Artist: The Gaslight Anthem
Title: “The ’59 Sound”
Year: 2008
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Grade: C+

Everything I read about New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem refers to them as punk rock, but every time I spin “The ’59 Sound,” I’m wondering when it’s going to get raw.

The only remotely thing punk about Gaslight Anthem is they sound like a heartland cousin of Social Distortion, which was itself cowpunk, a hybrid of punk, folk, country and blues.

They borrow liberally from fellow Jersey boy Bruce Springsteen, particularly on the title track, which finds singer Brian Fallon crooning in a manner particularly similar to The Boss and Social D’s Mike Ness.

Their licks are all smoothed out in production, however, making them sound more like a countrified Kings of Leon than any of the groups they’re imitating.

The songs on “The ’59 Sound” feel formulaic and the guitar work features the same sound on many tracks.

The problem is I don’t hear anything great here. I’m not sure how this is punk rock. If it is, that’s a sad statement on the state of punk rock.

I’m hoping I’m out of touch because while Gaslight Anthem would be fine on a Friday night when I had nothing better to do, they’re not blowing my speakers out.

Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
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