Somewhere between the Newark punk scene and Asbury Park’s heartland rock falls the Gaslight Anthem’s latest release American Slang. Brian Fallon and Co. turn in a disc of melodic (and rather catchy) tunes, all without compromising their punk rock roots. Despite the ease at which these songs lend themselves to singing(or chanting) along, they avoid the predictable and formulatic pop punk pitfalls that so many other bands looking to “break out” have fallen into.
American Slang avoids cliche like the plague, refusing to be pigeon holed into a neat little genre marked box. From Fallon’s weathered voice right down to the band’s gritty bar room sound this disc has authenticity written all over it. While the Springsteen comparison’s the band has been receiving may be a bit premature, his influence is certainly apparent, and the songs are better for it.
The album is without a full fledged standout, but that is more of a testament to the consistency of the album’s material than anything else. All ten tracks on the album are rock solid, contributing to the “greater than the sum of it’s parts” quality of the album. The band’s top notch songwriting and passionate performances combine for a great listen, and an easy addition to Ipods everywhere.