The Gaslight Anthem: Hunter S. Thompson was right


Its no secret to anyone who follows The Story Of Rock and Roll that I think the Gaslight Anthem are one of the finest bands to form in the 10 years. They started out in 2006 and I discovered them in 2010 when I was in Perth to see ACDC for the Black Ice Tour. As recorded in The Story of Rock and Roll I was in a record shop buying a lot of stuff and one of the guys working there saw I was running out of hands so he bought me a basket. While we were putting all the CD’s in the basket he said “Looking at all the music you are choosing here I highly recommend that you listen to this”. He handed me a copy of The ’59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem. It was absolutely fantastic and immediately became one of my top 30 albums of all time. The Springsteen comparisons were obvious but to be honest no-where near as obvious as critics have made out.

It is a real tragedy to me that this band are on indefinite hiatus since Aug 2015. Coming out of New jersey The Gaslight Anthem have all of those rich American influences to draw from in the same way as do Springsteen and Bon Jovi and it’s all there in the lyrics. When it comes to the voice, to my ears, Brian Fallon is in a class of his own. The good news is that his solo stuff is great and I expect it will get even better but there is a chemistry within the band that I miss on his solo stuff. There are 5 albums out and they are all amazing, you really should own all 5.

I was fortunate enough to see them live in 2011 at Rock Im Park in Germany and they were without a doubt one of the 3 best bands of the entire weekend. There is something really wrong in the music business lately that talented bands like Gaslight and Augustines (another amazing band) just can’t seem to make it out there. Hunter S. Thompson was right when he said ”The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side”. The best thing to do, because now you can’t see them live, is to just have a listen to those 5 albums. I don’t know why these guys are not fucking huge, they should be, they really, really should be.