Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (* * * 1/2)

From some bands we expect consistent innovation and change. Such artists must evidence a legitimate step forward in one way or another with every album, something new and exciting which assures fans that the group remains inspired and worthy of their attention. New Jersey’s the Gaslight Anthem are not one of those bands. They represent a genre that creates an entirely different set of expectations, one centered around consistency and reliability rather than exploration. That’s not to say frontman Brian Fallon and Co. could afford to remain completely static, but it seems unlikely that they would feel the need for true reinvention at any point in their career. There’s nothing wrong with this; dependability is a value well suited to the band’s updated take on classic blue-collar rock and they’re damn good at what they do. In this light, their third LP, American Slang, is the perfect step for them to take, showing a few signs of artistic development while sticking primarily to what worked the last time around. Though the album doesn’t hit quite as hard as 2008’s The 59 Sound, it should still go some way in establishing the Gaslight Anthem as one of America’s most steadfast young rock bands. (Read the rest of this review at In Review Online)