The Gaslight Anthem, AMERICAN SLANG

The Gaslight Anthem are back, and better than ever, with American Slang. This album proves that the spirit of classic rock can work in a modern style.

Much as I liked the Gaslight Anthem's last album, The '59 Sound, there was a similar style to most of the songs that made the album sound a little repetitive. This is fixed on Anerican Slang, as the band is able to rock hard (like their last album) but also slow down and try different sounds as well.

The content of American Slang is about tough but sentimental life on the wrong side of the tracks. Nostalgia is both pathetic ("God help the man who says if you'd have known me when/old haunts are for forgotten ghosts") and tempting, as memories keep drawing the singers back. Romance is also confined to the past, and there are plenty of scars along the way. Far from maudlin, these songs -- propelled by Brian Fallon's vocals and very strong support from the rest of the band -- hit all the right notes: sad while uplifting, thoughtful while strong, and very, very satusfying. American Slang combines the sentiment and regret of age with the powerful playing of young rockers -- and it's a terrific combination.

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch

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