The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
Over the course of their career The Gaslight Anthem have always drawn comparisons to Bruce Springsteen. There's no doubt they share a penchant for writing songs about the blue collar struggle, and a raw rock edge. Not much changes with this week's release of their new studio album Handwritten.
From the opening of "45" you know you're not in for any surprises with Handwritten. Gaslight Anthem do one thing and they do it well. You can count on a reliable guitar-driven rock record, with a touch of the roll for good measure.
The dirty, rough-edged rock permeates the record. It blazes throughout the fuel-injected title track. On "Mulholland Drive" it takes the form of a soaring-yet-grimy working man's guitar line.
The 'oh sha la la' refrain of "Here Comes My Man" shows a nod to pop rock. So too does the frenetic "Howl", a track that tries but just can't outrun its hooks.
Some of the rockers ("Keepsake", "Desire", "Too Much Blood") tend to blend together for lack of a defining characteristic. The only real miss is "Mae". It's a song that shows the potential to smolder, but instead melts away into a pool of cheese.
The album wraps up on a more introspective note with the subdued "National Anthem".
Sure Gaslight Anthem don't break any new ground, and the record may not even be them at their best. However, Handwritten is a pretty darn good rock and roll album.
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on 2012-10-12 TheAdamantium Said:
Constantly reminding me of Bruce Springsteen mashed up with Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem are back with yet another solid album. Although they don't offer much variety in their music, this folk punk rock band offers consistency and that's not always easy to come by.
The four piece from New Jersey offer up more of the same punk rock in Handwritten as they did in American Slang and The '59 Sound. In fact, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the albums apart... but is that a bad thing? Some bands are best when they experiment, others blow up when they drift from their formula. Gaslight stick to what they know best in Handwritten and it pays off. Why fix what ain't broken? If you enjoyed their previous albums, you will equally enjoy this one. Simple as that. Must hear songs include: "45", "Handwritten", "Keepsake", "Too Much Blood".