The Gaslight Anthem sound harks back to the Jersey Shore of yore — a place that's about as far away as you can get from the grotesque excesses displayed by MTV's Jersey Shore and, um, Pauly D's hair. For ever-earnest singer Brian Fallon and his band, it's a blue-collar thing, just as it was for Bruce Springsteen and Willy DeVille before him. And rather than peddle the sort of generic Balearic beats the guidos prefer, Gaslight Anthem makes rock and roll roughed up by punk gruffness and the occasional Americana twang. Lyrically speaking, Fallon's songs drip with working-class signifiers — references to "Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts," tattoos and Tom Petty — while the band's latest album is aptly titled American Slang. He delivers the latter in a Jeremy Enigk-grade growl that's offset by his between-song banter. A self-deprecating prole to the bone, Fallon could easily open for his own band as comedic support.
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