Gaslight Anthem, The - Handwritten
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Gaslight Anthem, The - Handwritten




As English novelist Nick Hornby so eloquently explains in the inside cover of The Gaslight Anthem’s newest record Handwritten, there is nothing here that you haven’t heard before. Plenty of bands are scrutinised for sounding too much like their influences or peers, the exception being the ones who do it really, really well.

The Gaslight Anthem fall into this category; sure they are playing the kind of rock n’ roll which many have offered before, and this record will not differ much from the ones they have released prior to it, but it’s so good, and so enjoyable, that none of those things matter. Now that we have cleared that up, let’s move on.

I really hope that some young teenagers listen to this album over their summer break, because these songs seem like the perfect soundtrack to that time in someone’s life - these are memory making songs. The opening tracks '45' and 'Handwritten' are timeless little numbers with stadium sized guitars that give you the feeling that everything will be ok and life is to be enjoyed no matter what.

Front man Brian Fallon’s gritty croon drives some of the catchiest melodies the band has ever produced. There is more of a folk focus on tracks like 'Here Comes My Man', channelling Fallon’s Horrible Crowes side-project. There are still faced paced numbers, like the punk influenced 'Howl' or the driving anthem, 'Desire'.

The record ends with the soft folk track 'National Anthem', a heart wrenching love song performed by Fallon and a single finger-picked guitar eventually backed by strings. This solemn tune, whilst a completely different vein to the rest of the album, rounds things off nicely, showing a different side to the band.

The Gaslight Anthem have nailed exactly what they are trying to do, which is make timeless and good quality rock n’ roll music for everyone to enjoy.
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