Infinite Shuffle

December 5, 2011

93 – The Horrible Crowes

Filed under: H, New Jersey — assman41 @ 7:04 pm

The biggest concern when a lead singer of a popular band decides to form a side project is that it will sound too similar to the original. It’s understandable, considering that the main vocals often leave the most lasting impression on listeners.

Sometimes, singers’ second acts can sound totally different from the precursor, but more often it’s too difficult a feat to pull off.

Brian Fallon, founder of The Gaslight Anthem, recently took the plunge and landed somewhere in between. For the most part, his new project, The Horrible Crowes, sounds like a very toned-down version of his main gig. But it’s different enough to be more enjoyable than frustrating.

Formed about a year ago as a duo with guitar tech Ian Perkins, The Crowes put out their first album, Elsie, in September to solid reviews. Its 12 tracks go by quickly with a run time of about 45 minutes, so it’s natural to want to listen to the album a few times on repeat.

It’s mostly filled with slow-burning songs of lost love and the like. Unsurprisingly, the best tracks — “Behold the Hurricane” and “Ladykiller” — are the ones that sound the closest to Gaslight B-sides. But on this album, Fallon occasionally trades his Bruce Springsteen mimicry for Tom Waits-style grumbling.

The album is definitely a must-have for Gaslight loyalists, but it should also appeal to all indie rock fans alike.


June 27, 2010

33 – The Gaslight Anthem

Filed under: G, New Jersey — assman41 @ 12:01 am

When talking about The Gaslight Anthem, I suppose the first thing I should do is address the obvious comparison to Bruce Springsteen. Fans of The Boss would just disregard Gaslight lead singer Brian Fallon as a Bruce wannabe.

There’s certainly some validity to that argument. A native of New Jersey, Fallon grew up idolizing Springsteen and has said often that he is a huge influence on his music. The Gaslight Anthem have even toured with Bruce and his band and played some songs together on stage.

Now, that all being said, The GA is more than just a copycat. Really, the best way to describe them is to call them “a punk version of Springsteen.” The vocals and lyrics are pure Bruce, but the rest of what comes through the speakers is faster and more rockin’ than anything the E Street Band has put out in decades.

The Gaslight Anthem formed in 2005 and released their debut album, Sink or Swim, two years later. It received some solid reviews, but the band didn’t hit the mainstream until 2008 when, after putting out a four-track EP, it dropped its second full-length, The ’59 Sound.

This is the point that I discovered them. A friend burned me a copy of the album and it sounded pretty good. Then, after realizing that they would be one of the opening acts for the Rise Against show I was to attend in November 2008, I started listening to the album more frequently.

By the time that show rolled around, I was looking forward to seeing The Gaslight Anthem as much as the headliner. In addition to the title track, the album is loaded with great songs, such as “Great Expectations” and “Old White Lincoln”.

I’ve been listening to that album off and on for the past two years, but was finally rewarded with a new disc, American Slang, which came out June 15.

I’ve listened to it twice so far, and I haven’t really heard any standout tracks. Musically, the band hasn’t changed much over the course of their three releases — each album has pretty much been a continuation of the one before it.

But when you sound as good as The Gaslight Anthem, I guess there’s no need to change anything.

Here’s the first single off the latest album. It’s the title track.

The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

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