Why did it take me so long? Why did I cry off their December “first show in Glasgow” through tiredness and stress, why did I leave their magnificent 2008 album sitting on my desk at work over Christmas? Why has it only been these past few weeks that title track “The ’59 Sound” has burrowed its way into my dreams, my morning brain finally conceding its classic earworm properties?
Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my first “new favourite band” of 2009: The Gaslight Anthem.
Thinking about it logically this shouldn’t come as a massive surprise, as the band combine everything I love in one four-piece package: big, ballsy rock ‘n’ roll numbers, the occasional tender lyric directed at some fallen angel or other, classic cars and movie screens and a Springsteen reference roughly every second song. They’re like the Hold Steady without the emotional baggage; combining notes of the blues and alternative country with classic rock drivetime radio, a curled lip and a swagger. Songs like “Old White Lincoln” and “High Lonesome” would get me dancing on the bar-top in a red dress and cowboy boots, ten minutes before closing with a gin in my hand and a smile on my face.
there were southern accents on the radio
as I drove home
and at night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
it’s a pretty good song
maybe you know the rest
Also rocking my not-as-yet DRM free iTunes this weather is No Lunch, the 1996 album from Jesse Malin’s bratty NY punks D-Generation. And I’m killing time until the release of Springsteen’s Working on a Dream later this month, of course – Stereogum has the video for Life Itself, and if you’re decidedly more American that I you can download the song for free at Amazon MP3.
[PHOTO: Day 6.]