The Gaslight Anthem burst onto the music scene in 2008, when guitar music had seemingly gone into hibernation. Their first album Sink or Swim, replete with New Jersey swagger and common-man lyrics, draw immediate comparisons with Bruce Springsteen, who was to join them a year later, on stage at Glastonbury.
The Springsteen comparison has followed them through their subsequent albums, The ’59 Sound and American Slang. However, while his shadow still looms large on American Slang and Get Hurt, these later outings reveal other influences, such as Pearl Jam, Neil Young and Tom Petty.
Lyrically, the band likes to explore themes of love, loss, alienation and aspirations. With lead-singer, Brian Fallon, sounding not a million miles away from Eddie Vedder, songs such as Mae and Handwritten imbue the band with a yearning quality, whether they’re playing a post-punk stomper or a heartstring-tugging ballad.