SONG REVIEW: The Gaslight Anthem, 45

BAND: The Gaslight Anthem
LABEL: Mercury Records
RELEASED: July 3rd 2012

New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem are back with the lead single from their upcoming fourth album Handwritten, which is released at the end of the month. Sticking with their traditional rock complemented by great storytelling, 45 is a lot like previous material but they know what works.

Doing punk/alternative rock right, the band have treated us to a guitar-led track with a steady drum beat that is a must on all summer playlists. If you loved their last album American Slang, then you might be disappointed that they’ve taken a step back in time to their roots but singer Brian Fallon has said of 45:

“This song felt to us like we still had something to say in this long line of rock and roll tradition. It made the path clear as to what we should do next. Sometimes you just have to leave things behind -turn the record over.”

As is typical of classic Gaslight Anthem songs, 45 has an American sound to it and it’s like the band are reliving their past. The song is about leaving behind a lover and the pain of dealing with the change. A popular theme within pop punk but expert lyric writing makes it original and this is something that Gaslight Anthem have always been awesome at. The energetic guitar solo at the two minute stage is air-guitar heaven and combined with the emotional vocals, it makes 45 a show-stopper.

The first verse ends with the line “I can’t move on but I can’t stay the same” which is a sentiment everyone at the end of a relationship can relate to. It sums up the entire song and admits a truth that he simply doesn’t want. “Let her go, let somebody else lay at her feet” says a lot about how much he’s in love with her, raising the height of emotion within the track. In some ways, it’s a beautiful love song with a tragic reality beneath it.

If you’ve never listened to The Gaslight Anthem before, then 45 and the new album is a great excuse to start. Handwritten is due for release on July 23rd and with the expectation that it will be reverting back to what made them a success, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be massive.


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