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Music / The Gaslight Anthem

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The Gaslight Anthem are a punk/rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 2005. Strongly influenced by Jersey punk, Bruce Springsteen, The Clash and The Replacements, they have gained some critical acclaim.

  • Sink or Swim (2007)
  • The '59 Sound (2008)
  • Senor and the Queen (EP) (2008)
  • American Slang (2010)
  • Handwritten (2012)
  • Get Hurt (2014)
  • History Books (2023)

The Gaslight Anthem provide examples of:

  • Big Applesauce: The inspiration for much of American Slang, as Brian Fallon lived there for a few years.
  • Cover Version: They tend to play several covers live. Some of the most notable ones are "State of Love and Trust" and "Baba O'Riley".
  • Creator Thumbprint: Lyrical references are frequently made to radios, cars, and women named Maria. This gives a sort of retro feeling reminiscent of Classic Rock artists such as Bruce Springsteen.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: The song "Keepsake" is about someone tracking down his biological father who's been absent for his entire life, but he doesn't expect much out of any relationship they could have.
    And I'm not looking for your love, I'm only sniffing out blood;
    Just a little taste of where I came from.
  • Joisey: Their origin and a provider of much inspiration. The New Jersey Devils even use "Howl" as their goal song as part of their efforts to celebrate New Jersey artists and culture.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: Found in "I Coulda Been a Contender," "Red in the Morning," "Say I Won't (Recognize)," "Meet Me by the River's Edge," "Bring It On," "Boxer," "Helter Skeleton," "Red Violins," "Selected Poems," "Dark Places," and "Halloween."
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The song "The '59 Sound" is actually about a friend who died while the band was playing a gig down the road.
  • New Sound Album: American Slang mixed their signature style with Motown/soul influences, Handwritten, their first major-label record, offered a heavy-hitting classic rock sound, and Get Hurt deliberately pushed their sound in new directions, inspired by the Pearl Jam album No Code doing the same.
  • Reference Overdosed: Many of their earlier songs contain lyrical allusions and references to other works. This has gradually been toned down, but references can still be found.
  • Shout-Out: To music (Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Motown, Jersey punk and more), movies ("Here's Looking at You, Kid" and "I Coulda Been a Contender") and classic literature (Howl (1955), Great Expectations).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very much on the idealistic side.
  • Song of Song Titles: "Meet Me By the River's Edge" is more or less a bunch of Springsteen lyric references tied together into a wholly different song.
  • Special Guest: The '59 Sound features guest vocals from Chris Wollard (Hot Water Music) and Dicky Barrett (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), among others.
  • Teenage Death Songs: "The '59 Sound"
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The songs tend to be relatively simple in terms of chord progression.

Alternative Title(s): Gaslight Anthem