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Rock and roll: The Gaslight Anthem January 23, 2009

Posted by sjroby in Music.
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The '59 Sound

The Gaslight Anthem: The ’59 Sound

Stephen King in the latest Entertainment Weekly:

I wish for a rock & roll renaissance ā€” probably a vain hope in an American Idol-dominated decade where too many singers (both male and female) sound like 1985-vintage Michael Jackson, but is it impossible to think some neo — E Street Band might capture a rock-deprived generation stuck with Kanye West and the Pussycat Dolls? Do I really have to face the fact that three-chord rock is dead? Man, I hope not.

The band he’s looking for is called The Gaslight Anthem, and their album (which got a lot of good press) is The ’59 Sound. It’s got a classic rock and roll sound, balanced somewhere between Springsteen with less bombast, the Replacements’ more heartfelt songs, and Social Distortion with less punk roar. The songs are catchy, full of passion and energy but refreshingly free of the overproduction so many rock bands go for these days. No remixes, no special guest appearances. I’d love to see them in a bar while drinking a few beers, the way I saw the Replacements, the Asexuals, Jr Gone Wild, and other bands with punk roots growing up in public way back when.

Now, if King (who insists on referring to himself, somewhat creepily, as “your uncle Stevie”) can take something a bit louder, there’s always the BellRays’ blend of punk, hard rock, and soul, but that’s a topic for another time.

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