‘And they’re playing The ’59 Sound in heaven while the angels are drinking up whiskey and cokes’
Last year Sorority Noise came out with those lyrics on their incredible piece of work You’re Not As ____ As You Think. This year, a decade after the album in question was released, The Gaslight Anthem have announced their reunion and they are touring the album in full. A decade, ten full years since the seminal Americana-punk band released their second full length LP. It doesn’t feel like it though, The ’59 Sound still sounds as though it could have come out today and as though it’s been around since forever ago.
The influence of the band in some more recent music is hard to pin down, with The Gaslight Anthem playing a style of punk that isn’t exactly in vogue anymore. While bands like The Flatliners and fellow Jersey natives, The Bouncing Souls are still around, it’s just not the done thing anymore.
“The ’59 Sound is an album that spans seemingly every available theme and lyric that they could possibly think to have thrown at it. “
The The Menzingers too, with another fantastic album from last year After The Party could easily be said in the same breath as The Gaslight Anthem. It may sound like we’re defeating our own point here by name dropping three huge bands in the scene but it’s just that. We’re trying to wrack our brains here to give you obvious examples.
The ’59 Sound is an album that spans seemingly every available theme and lyric that they could possibly think to have thrown at it. We think that this has something to do with the longevity of the album, it has a song for every mood that’s possible. The title track is a track that feels like it predates the indie-emo revival big boys along the lines of Have Mercy and Slaughter Beach, Dog, managing to marry a heartfelt story of the loss of a friend’s life and the incredibly detailed storytelling and metaphor that they are well known for. Even to the point where lead singer of Citizen, Mat Kerekes put Here’s Lookin At You, Kid on his covers album, and it almost sounds like something that they could have written themselves.
“But then what about if you wanted a song about a love that’s been lost and people that are no longer in your life?”
But then what about if you wanted a song about a love that’s been lost and people that are no longer in your life? Well in that case it depends if you want to drink and dance along to your grief or if you want a sobering reminder of the person that you once were. For the latter then you should look no further than the opening track, Great Expectations. A track flecked with references to the Dickens classic as well as sobering reminders of the fickleness of life. Old White Lincoln however tells the story of a teenage love affair, or an unrequited love, depending on who you ask and how they’re feeling at the time you ask them.
Then there’s the song about young love. The Gaslight Anthem are not a band to make you dwell on the bad things for an entire album, which almost accentuates their musical ability when they do. Miles Davis and the Cool is a song dedicated to the greatest jazz musician of all time, Miles Davis, framing a song that is about throwing rocks at your crushes window. It’s also a song that you could play while you did it amusingly enough, if anyone wants to try it and send it to us we’d appreciate it. Just don’t break their window and blame us please, we’re trying to be cute, not stupid heart folk.
“Almost no band can write something that’s never been heard before…” – Brian Fallon
If Miles Davis and the Cool is the song that gets your crush to run into the night with you, then Casanova, Baby! Is the anthem to your night. A song referencing almost every band and singer song writer that you could think of when you’re listening to The Gaslight Anthem. There are references to Wilson Pickett and Peter Seegar. On this vein a lot of people have attempted to discredit the band for rewriting Springsteen or Bob Dylan, and while the band have their influences that they wear on their sleeve, it can’t take away from what they are. Almost no band can write something that’s never been heard before, ‘unless you’re Radiohead, or Bon Iver,’ as Brian Fallon said in an interview with American Songwriter back in 2012.
If it hasn’t been obvious the way that we’ve been going on about it, The ’59 Sound, we feel is one of the best example of albums that has stood the test of time fantastically. If you get the chance to then go and catch them on their headline tour later this year, if you don’t then give this record a spin. You won’t regret it, we promise.
WORDS: NATHAN REYNOLDS