Have we got our album of the year already?
Virtually unknown up until a few years ago, New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem have become one of the premiere bands in the world today. Their sophomore release, The ’59 Sound, was one of the best albums of 2008 and now the boys are back and they’ve brought another fantastic record with them.
American Slang is definitely a step forward for the four-piece, who’ve gone from strength to strength with each release, and is bound to be one of the albums of 2010.
The album opens with the title track and, from the off, you can hear how the band has progressed since their previous release. American Slang is definitely showcasing a more mature Gaslight, and a band more in tune with their influences.
There’s more a hint of The Clash on this record, something that’s certainly not a bad thing. Brian Fallon had equated Gaslight’s progression with that of the British punk band in the past and, despite appearing somewhat arrogant, he’s not wrong. London Calling showcased The Clash at their best after a good second release. Could this be an omen?
As Clash-laced as this album may be, there’s also a distinct R&B/Soul influence too. On tracks like ‘The Diamond Church Street Choir’ this becomes immediately apparent. It’s a nice change in pace, and that track in particular quickly became one of my favourites.
All this talk of influences aside, American Slang is a fantastic album that bridges the generic gap. Whatever you’re into, there’s something for you here. It’s a definite progression for the band and one of the finest albums of 2010.
Stand up and take notice.