Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tramps Like Us Were Born to Run: The Gaslight Anthem - "Biloxi Parish" (Handwritten)


The Gaslight Anthem somehow managed to write & record one Hell of an E-Street Band-less Springsteen comeback album!; With that said, Handwritten really is just a top-notch "Post-Punk" Arena Rock-sounding record. Single-handedly helmed by seasoned Pearl Jam/Springsteen producer Brendan O'Brien, who was dealt the fairly difficult task of nearly re-shaping the band's signature sound from the ground up. For the most part, it chronicles Gaslight Anthem's journey from the NJ Hardcore scene to "mainstream recognition" [success] and that's something I think I'd feel hard-pressed about cramming into 100-200 words. "Biloxi Parish" is most likely my personal favourite track on Handwritten, but man, the whole damn album's pretty STELLAR and seamless! I guess Biloxi Parish was a small sub-division of Louisiana way back when in 1811-12... How any of that relates to The Gaslight Anthem or Brian Fallon (frontman) - I honestly have NO IDEA.


Sporting a densely-layered backing track comfortably fixed below an ever-changing rhyme scheme, I think it's safe to say that "Biloxi Parish" evenly represents all of the assorted elements spread across the record. I bought a copy of the album @ the mall a few weeks ago, after reading Tom Breihan's highly detailed "Album of The Week" review... I've been listening to Handwritten ever since picking it up, trying to write up a proper review, but ultimately sitting on it as it seemed far too expansive to contain like that. In his review, Breihan notes that Gaslight Anthem has gotten progressively less "Punk Rock" ever since releasing The '59 Sound [2008]. He notes that Handwritten has a sort of Arena Rock-type of feel - like classic 80's Bruce Springsteen or Pearl Jam - But I think The Gaslight Anthem sounds a lot like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers anymore.


Note-worthy tracks: "45," "Mulholland Drive," "Handwritten," and "Too Much Blood." The Gaslight Anthem's new album, Handwritten is now available in both standard and deluxe edition CD packages, which includes 2 bonus Nirvana/Tom Petty covers. Tickets pre-sales are now ongoing for The Gaslight Anthem's upcoming North American Tour, spanning between Sept. 11-Dec. 3, 2012.

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