on October 4, 2009
If Social Distortion met The Strokes and invited over the Kings of Leon where they jammed out to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty all night, you just might have an idea of what you're going to hear when you drop the needle on "The '59 Sound" by the Gaslight Anthem. From the very moment Great Expectations kicks in, you know you are in for something special. The next two songs only help to further that notion, and by the time you get to the Counting Crows references on the fourth track ("High Lonesome"), you know you're hearing a potentially life changing record. That's a feeling I haven't had in a very very long time, and truth be told, I didn't know if I would ever have it again. Now whether or not this is that kind of album remains to be seen, but it certainly has the potential. Every song is good if not great, and often the songs on this record transition seamlessly into each other, such as when "Miles Davis & The Cool" crashes right into "The Patient Ferris Wheel", which features guest vocals by Dicky F'n Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
"The '59 Sound" sounds like a tribute to all of the bands that The Gaslight Anthem enjoys from another generation. There are obvious hints throughout the record of Tom Petty and especially Bruce Springsteen, and even Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Casanova Baby" starts off suspiciously similar to "Looking Out My Back Door"). Even the titles of the songs ("Meet Me by The River's Edge", "Old White Lincoln") sound like something you'd see on the back of a record from your mom or dad's vinyl collection.
"The '59 Sound" is ultimately one of those unique albums where you feel sort of torn. One part of you wants to call up everyone you know and tell them to go buy it. Another part of you wants to keep it for yourself. In the end, it's an album that you can enjoy by yourself driving down the highway with the windows down, or with a car full of friends singing along at the top of your lungs down that very same road. That's what makes records like "The '59 Sound" so special. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
on September 2, 2008
Alright, to start with the Gaslight Anthem isn't a punk band. They're on a punk label (more or less) and tour with punk bands, but don't think you're getting a straight up punk cd. This is a classic rock record that falls firmly in between some of the classic songs of Springsteen and Tom Petty. Bouncy, catchy rock tunes about teen loves and '50's culture. It's good. It's real good.
on August 21, 2008
well, the release date for this album was set back earlier this year (maybe march/april), and i'm glad it's finally out there. i believe i read about these guys in a music magazine earlier in the year and everything i heard/read about these guys was positive. so, i figured i'd give them a chance so i bought both their debut from 2007 "sink or swim", and their recently released ep (senor and the queen) for both reasonable prices. instantly, i fell in love with the band. their heartfelt lyrics about lost loves, second chances, and living life was what i needed to hear at that time in my life and it really hit home with me. it seems that i could relate to what they were saying in their songs and it feels like they're talking to me (except for the references to specific names). that's why this band works. this is why this band has a cult/legion of fans. this is why the band are getting all types of buzz about their new album. this is why this band could be the next big thing in rock music.
the stories, the references, the lyrics, the honesty, the emotion, that are coming from a real place is what could prepel them to rock stars. it seems like rock critics have been trying to find this decade's "nirvana" and some bands have come close but never panned out all the way. i know, i know...nirvana are legends and i'm in no way comparing gaslight to nirvana. no way, their music and message are almost completely different. or is it? i remember back in the early part of the decade three bands were tagged on being the next big thing or movement in rock. they were at the drive in, jimmy eat world, and thursday. all bands are excellent, amazing artists but they never panned out for some reason. maybe the message wasn't right. no one knew what the heck ATDI were talking about in their lyrics, JEW were considered to safe to make a statement, and thursday's dark, depressing lyrics were probably too much for some people. then once again, you had the explosion of fall out boy in the middle of the decade (but that's a whole different story) but they were just some fun pop band who are now celebrity's. then last year we had the stellar album from against me!, "new wave". it was THE record of 2007 according to many critics and fans years end list. a lot of people were calling them the saviors of rock music and the next nirvana. they're a great band and that's a great record but it seems like the lyrics are too politically charged for most people.
with that little back story behind, people need music they can relate on a personal level that's accessible in some ways. that's where the gaslight anthem could take over the world if they wanted to. the hooks, the sincerity, the relatable story-telling songs, the lyrics, do just that with 100% passion and heart. also, this band reaches and hits almost every genre you can think of...blues, soul, rockabilly, punk, alternative, rock n roll, classic rock, pop, folk, and so on. plus, hand an older music fan who listens to springstreen or tom petty a copy of this record and tell me they won't like it. impossible. give a copy to all the hardcore punk elitists and tell me they won't like it. impossible. okay, now for the real challenge...hand this album to someone who listens to classic rock or radio rock like nickelback, 3 doors down, etc. and tell me they won't like it. i highly doubt it. now, hand this album to someone who loves country/western music and tell me they won't like. probably not going to happen.
this band is capable of such a large appeal to a huge audience of music listeners, this band could easy take over the world. so is there a chance of them being the next nirvana for rock music? all the ingrediants are there...so i would say there's a good chance.
i mean what more can i say about this band/or album? these guys are hard-working humble dudes from new jersey who play passionate, heartfelt lyrics in the vain of old legends like tom petty, bob dylan, bruce springsteen, and dare i say elvis pressley?...they also have strong punk roots tied in with their music from the likes of modern acts such as alkaline trio, against me, hot water music and even jawbreaker from the 90's.
there's really no need for me to break down the album song by song, cuz they're all classic songs which in turn makes this album complete from start to finish. the recording quality is something like you'd hear from the 50's or 60's (hint: the 59 sound) and it really adds nice texture and depth to the album as a whole. i suggest you listen to this record on vinyl to get the real listening experience. it sounds like something that could easily fit into your soul and blues rock collection from the 60's. all i can say is that it would be a shame if these guys don't get huge in the next year or so. this record is one of the best i've heard in a long time and will be on many year end lists. i am now a fan for life after hearing this record and i will support these guys whereever they go.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone regardless of what type of music you listen to...
thanks for reading
on February 28, 2013
Sometimes an album comes along that captivates you so completely that you're never the same after hearing it. These records are rare but every once in a while they sneak up and surprise you in the most joyous and life-affirming way possible. The '59 Sound is one of those records. Every note, every word, every song is played to perfection and composed so beautifully that you can't help but be pulled into its world of broken hearts, classic cars, Southern accents, and New Jersey atmosphere. Brian Fallon and his bandmates have crafted what I consider to be the perfect album. I simply can't find anything that I would change or tweak; it all flows seamlessly in one complete package.
This album is sheer perfection on every level. After one listen I knew I was a fan for life and The Gaslight Anthem is now one of my favorite bands. Their music is so powerful and honest, not to mention smartly written and well played. Do yourself a favor and give it a spin. It may very well work the same magic for you that it did for me on that snowy drive when I first heard it. This album takes me back to those snow-swept streets and brisk January air. I haven't been the same since and that's the best compliment I can give any piece of work.
on June 15, 2013
I picked up Gaslight Anthem's album "Handwritten" a while back and loved it so much, I had to get this one as well. While I like this album very much, "Handwritten" is just on another level. G.A. just really stepped up their game so much on "Handwritten" that it's a little hard to not be mildly let down. If I had heard "59 Sound" first, I would probably be more impressed.
G.A. is such a great band ... fast, high-energy, edgy, punk-tinged tunes that remind me of The Ramones, but never come across as being thrashy. These guys also remind me of Dropkick Murphys but with better song craft, better musicianship and without all the excessive screaming.
It's nice to have songs that are more sophisticated than three-chord punk while still retaining some of that throwback punk vibe.
"The 59 Sound", "High Lonesome" and "Meet Me By The River's Edge" are all standouts for me but "Old White Lincoln" "Here's Looking at You, Kid" and others are all thoroughly enjoyable as well.
on March 6, 2013
I'm always hesitant to give an album 5 stars. Can an album truly be perfect? I was also curious about this album, due to its numerous five-star ratings. However, I have seen several albums on Amazon marked overwhelmingly as 5 stars, when in reality, they are atrocities to mankind (e.g. Seether).
Luckily, this album is worth every one of the golden stars, encompassing a classic rock sound, an emo-esque lead guitar and an overall sense of fun. Therefore, this album goes amongst the collection with Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Creedence Clearwater Revival, not necessarily for similarities in sound, but for a never-ending display of great songs and a timeless feeling that too many bands miss out on.
Considering every song on here is a great tune (and how many albums can you say that about, I wonder?) so, to all the Springsteen, Creedence and Who fans, stop listening to the Eagles (ugh) on classic rock radio and dive into something wonderfully timelessly old and new.
Personal recommendations: Great Expectations, 59 Sound, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Miles Davis and the Cool