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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

When The Gaslight Anthem first burst onto the scene I felt that their punk angle on Springsteen was a breath of fresh air.
Here was a band who were giving blue collar rock and roll the kiss of life.
The lyrics were as impassioned as the delivery and I fell in love with them there and then.
It wasn't long until I got the chance to see them live and every expectation I had of them delivering was matched, and then surpassed.
The future looked secure.
This band were going to be carrying the torch to a new generation.
Then something went wrong.
The forward momentum began to slow as the next album revealed them treading water.
It wasn't a bad release. In fact it was very good.
The problem was that it was an extension of the previous release.
It could have been the second disc on a double album.
Nothing new was being explored.
When you listen to Sink or Swim and then 59 Sound you can hear this big leap forward.
That's not so apparent between 59 Sound and American Slang, and similarly it isn't there on Handwritten.
It seems to be that the band have a blueprint that is never going to be expanded on from here on in.
If you had a tick box then everything is there again, but it's the 'again' part that is holding me back from total appreciation.
Two albums in from their breakthrough and all I can say is I've heard it all before.

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