American Slang

I first got into these boys from Jersey with a recommendation from a friend and didn’t listen to The ’59 Sound all that much at first. Over time it grew on me and became a staple of my playlist and quite the repeater on mix tapes. The release of American Slang was one of the first to get me looking forward to summer and it hasn’t let me down. I didn’t put this one on the back burner like I did with their sophomore release. Instead I queued it up and it has been on repeat for my drive to and from work for a while now. I’ll skip the comparison to their other work and cut right to the chase. American Slang is straight up rock n roll with absolutely no apologies.

Horowitz provides a driving beat that makes it hard not to tap your feet even when you are desk-bound like I am most of the day while Fallon belts out lyrics that are the heart and soul of what rock n roll should be over the big guitar of Rosamilia with Levine’s bass holding it all together. American Slang is not alternative rock, it’s not post punk, it’s not any sub-genre. It is simply what every rock n roll band in America should be trying to do. I know I sound like a fan boy extraordinaire and to be be frank I don’t give a damn. I love music and there’s been some amazing music this year but this one is the best rock album I have heard in a damn long time. Yeah it’s Essential Listening without a doubt and it could be a contender for the album of the year top spot as far as I am concerned. I guess I had better give up some tracks for you all to enjoy before I launch into a track by track diatribe complete with my favorite lyrics from each one because I really want to go on about this one…

The Gaslight Anthem – Stay Lucky
The Gaslight Anthem – Orphans
The Gaslight Anthem – We Did It When We Were Young

The Gaslight Anthem’s Official Website
The Gaslight Anthem on Facebook


  1. I guess I need to give this one another listen cause I still can’t get into them…

  2. this record is to f’ing good. i wasn’t really a gaslight anthem fan (by default – i just never really listened to them) so i never had to compare it to their other records. at this point i’ve gone backwards and checked out 59 sound and sink or swim – dig them both well enough, but american slang is just a perfect rock record.

  3. All 3 Gaslight albums stay on constant rotation for me.. I LOVE The Diamond Church Street Choir

  4. Don’t miss the Senor and the Queen ep (available on emusic). Fallons song writing has really progressed to be even more succinct and more effective. Plus the sound is simply pure rock and roll. Best song is Old Haunts.

  5. I felt like 16 again when I got into The Gaslight Anthem. They got me so excited! And I am so relieved that the new album turned out just fine. I’m going as far as saying that The ’59 Sound is one of my favorite albums ever and has probably only the benefit over Sink Or Swim because I listened to ’59 first. I liked American Slang on first listen and it will most certainly grow on me. I love these dudes. I just sold my ticket for Amsterdam, because I couldn’t make it, but they announced a gig in my native Hamburg just in time to cheer me up! Can’t wait to see these guys live.

  6. @The Chairman – totally agree on Old Haunts. The Boxer is up there for me, too.

    I’ve been trying to figure out if I can see them next month at a park show in San Jose. It’s free, but it’s early. I’d have to probably plan on getting out of work early as well as a transportation situation. At this point I’m not counting on it, but I’m definitely not ruling it out.

  7. One other reason to like this band- They picked Tim Barry to open for them on the first leg of the US tour.

  8. I must be missing something with these guys. There are a few songs on the 59 Sound that I like and even the new one has a catchy tune or two, but overall I just can’t get real excited. Maybe it’s me. I just think I’ve heard too many other bands do the same thing and do it better. Certainly, the Bouncing Souls are an obvious choice being from NJ. And people like Greg Cartwright(Oblivians, Compulsive Gamblers, Reigning Sound) must just shake their heads.

  9. @Martin Luther Presley: That’s kind of how I felt. They make me feel young and that’s about the best way to put it.

    @Greg: The Bouncing Souls aren’t doing the same thing at all so the comparison isn’t really valid there. I love the boys in Bouncing Souls but over time the edge that drew me to them has been lost. It hasn’t felt like some bands that grow up with their music. Don’t get me wrong I still love them but nothing they are putting out even comes close to “Old School” or “Johnny X”. As for Reigning Sound I liked Time Bomb High School but it didn’t impress me all that much to be honest and the rest of what I heard wasn’t impressive. I am not familiar with Cartwright’s other bands that you listed and I will attempt to remedy that but I don’t think that just because ’59 Sound is from NJ means that other NJ bands are the best source of comparison. I really don’t think that Reigning Sound holds a candle to what ’59 Sound is doing.

  10. I’m not quite sure how Greg Cartwright got involved in this here (except that it’s all rock’n’roll), but I’d just like to say that he’s a legend in his time and a songwriting genius that’s in love with rock’n’roll’s history and it’s our luck that that comes across in everything he does. TOO MUCH GUITAR by Reigning Sound is probably my fave.

  11. Love, love, love this band and everything they’ve put out. So excited to see them tonight in Amsterdam…in a sold out venue!

  12. I agree the Bouncing Souls were at their peak with Maniacal, the ST and Hopeless Romantic. I still think Gaslight Anthem are heavily influenced by them. They also seem to like to rock the old soul tunes, as does Greg Cartwright. I think his sound is much more raw than Gaslights. I’d say Cartwright is more Stax and Gaslight is more Motown. Either way, get his Compulsive Gamblers record, Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing. It’s probbaly out of print. Quite a few bands have covered Stop & Think It Over from that album.

  13. Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing is thankfully still in print and what a mighty fine album that is! Stop & Think It Over was on a compilation CD The Hives put together for Kerrang magazine (ca 2002). It was my introduction to that band, in fact (and also the Oblivians)!
    I was a bit disappointed with that Mary Weiss album and haven’t listened to The Hives’ own version (I still can’t believe how much they suck these days). Anyhow, that song is bound to be a classic!

  14. it’s a good album but to me there like The love child of agnostic front & Bruce Springsteen nothing wrong with that though

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