The Gaslight Anthem: The B-Sides

Once again we are treated to the velvety-toned soothing vocals of Brian Fallon and the band on this compilation album; that offers fans: extra songs which did not make it on to the studio albums, acoustic renditions of various tracks from the band’s records and a handful of covers.

The-Gaslight-Anthem-The-B-Sides-coverThe Gaslight Anthem emerged in 2006 and kicked off their career with their hard-pounding album ‘Sink or Swim’ in 2007, it mixed hard-rock together with an essence of blues. In 2008 they released their second album ‘The 59 Sound’, the album which launched them into the spotlight. They were featured on the cover of Kerrang! Magazine when they released The 59 Sound, making history as the first band to ever do that without being previously featured in the magazine. With this album the band nudged more over to the blues side of things, with the album offering heart-felled calming love songs along with hard-hitting rock tracks. 2010 saw the band release their third album, ‘American Slang’. Although it is their weakest album to date, it was not a bad record. It just focused more on melodic guitar riffs, rather than heavy rock anthems like the previous two. In 2012, their fourth studio album ‘Handwritten’ was released, and it offered all of their best elements; heavy rock, soul-sounding vocals, enchanting lyrics and melodic guitars. Although some fans will always say that The 59 Sound is their best album; Handwritten is not far off.

The acoustic tracks originate from their albums, The 59 Sound and American Slang; except for Antonia Jane which is a cover originally by Lightening Dust. These songs are not just your typical, quick acoustic versions which you might find on a magazine’s podcast; no these are properly studio produced and are quite alternate versions to the original songs. Fallon is not just singing their songs quieter with an acoustic guitar, there are different aspects added, such as backing vocals and other instruments in the background. In a way these tracks seem slightly more intimate, partly because they are more relaxing than the originals, but also because Fallon recording some of them in his own home, and not a studio.

What I have to say did disappoint me quite a bit was the fact that when I read ‘The Gaslight Anthem; The B-Sides’ I assumed that I was getting a few of Gaslight’s own songs which I had not previously heard. Unfortunately there is only one, ‘She Loves You’, which does not feature on any of their albums; the rest are either covers or acoustic songs. The covers were a nice touch, but I’d rather hear their covers live than have them on a CD. Don’t get me wrong I am glad that I purchased it, and I understand that these are the B-Sides from their released singles but more of their own tracks would have made this compilation that little bit extra special.

gaslight-anthemThis album is a must for any avid Gaslight Anthem fans, but I would not recommend it for every-now-and-then listeners.

The Gaslight Anthem are currently writing for their next album, and I am always anxious to hear what they are working on next…here’s looking at you kids.

The full track-listing is as follows:

She Loves You – Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

The 59′ Sound (Acoustic) – Recorded at 91.5 Radio New York Studios.

State Of Love And Trust (Live) – Pearl Jam Cover, Recorded Live at Webster Hall. New York.

Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones Cover, Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

The Queen Of Lower Chelsea (Acoustic) – Recorded by Brian Fallon at His House.

Songs For Teenagers – Fake Problems Cover, Recorded by Brian Fallon.

Great Expectations (Acoustic) – Recorded at 91.5 Radio New York Studios.

Antonia Jane (Acoustic) – Lightning Dust Cover, Recorded at Cutting Rooms Studios, NYC.

American Slang (Acoustic) – Recorded at The Magic Shop in NYC.

Boxer (Acoustic) – Recorded by Brian Fallon at His House.

Once Upon A Time – Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise Cover, Recorded Sage and Sound Studios and Mad Dog Studios.

The Gaslight Anthem Gig Review

The New Jersey quartet storm the Bristol O2 Academy stage on a wet and cold March evening. The night started off with an explosive performance by the rock ‘n’ roll duo from Canada, ‘Japandroids’, who although only a duo, created an energy which showed they don’t need to be a stereotypical band to break on to the music scene. As they play through their tracks, they show that they have their minds set on bigger stages, however no matter how much they try tonight, the crowd just don’t feel the full impact of their music, as they more or less stand still throughout their set.

After a half hour wait the crowd finally get what they came here for tonight, the blues-rock ‘n’ roll band, ‘The Gaslight Anthem’. A hall full of cheers as they begin their set with ‘High Lonesome’, the track gets the entire room singing along with fists pumping in the air.the gaslight anthem

The band play through some of their greatest songs from their last three albums, much to the audience’s enjoyment. Songs such as: Handwritten, 45, Orphans and Old White Lincoln get the crowd jumping and at some points a pit is even opened up. Whilst others songs: Great Expectations, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Miles Davis and the Cool create sing-alongs which echo throughout the academy. The crowd also get a special treat with a cover of ‘The Animals’ song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and ‘Señor and the Queen’, a track from their four-song EP.

Although they did bring a huge show to the stage, the only minor aspects which the band could have improved on was that the interaction with the audience could have been better, and no tracks from their powerful 2005 début album, ‘Sink or Swim’, were played.

These are only slight criticisms though, and it really is hard to complain when the band come back on for an encore of some of their best songs, ending their own tracks with ‘The ’59 Sound’, if there is one fan in the audience who is not singing during this song, then it would seem that they are at the wrong concert.

The night comes to an end with the band playing an anthem which is known throughout the entire crowd, ‘Baba O’Riley’ by ‘The Who’, and the boys pull it off perfectly. Not only with lead singer, Brian Fallon, being on par with Roger Daltrey’s vocals, but also with the explosive outro, which saw Fallon smashing the drums with the rest of the band playing their hearts out, ending an evening of blues-rock ‘n’ roll.

The full setlist for the show is as follows:

High Lonesome

Casanova Baby!

Old White Lincoln

Handwritten

45

Senor and the Queen

Orphans

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

House of the Rising Sun (The Animals cover)

Miles Davis and the Cool

Howl

Biloxi Parish

Blue Dahlia

The Queen of Lower Chelsea

Great Expectations

Keepsake

Encore:

She Loves You

Here Comes My Man

Mulholland Drive

American Slang

The ’59 Sound

Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)