Sunday, December 28, 2014

Song Of The Week: 12/28/14

Song: "Mae"

Artist: The Gaslight Anthem

Album: "Handwritten"

Year: 2012

"Mae" is a song that appears to be about the vocalist thinking back on an old love. Perhaps she was his first love but it was definitely someone he felt a strong connection to. He asks her to go out and maybe they can rekindle some of that flame which they once had. With his current life so hectic with work or just living with the pressures of being older, he's looking for some meaning or something to hold on to. Perhaps "Mae" is who is searching for. The Gaslight Anthem formed as a band back in 2006, hailing from New Jersey. The band was originally called This Charming Man but soon changed their name to The Gaslight Anthem once their line-up was set. In 2007, the band released it's first album, "Sink Or Swim". This album was well received among most punk rock avenues as well as getting some respect in mainstream publications such as Spin Magazine. 2008 saw the band first release the EP "Senor And The Queen", then their landmark album "The '59 Sound", which was released through SideOneDummy Records. With singles such as "The '59 Sound", "Old White Lincoln" and "Great Expectations", this was voted the #1 album of 2008 by eMusic. Of course, with the band being from New Jersey, and with Brian Fallon's songwriting and singing style, The Gaslight Anthem often draws comparisons to a young Bruce Springsteen. Fallon does not shy away from the fact the he is a big fan of Bruce and at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, Springsteen joined The Gaslight Anthem on stage for a raucous rendition of "The '59 Sound". Fallon then returned the favor by joining Springsteen's set to sing along on "No Surrender". In 2010, the band released "American Slang". This album debuted at #16 on the Billboard 200 charts thanks in part to the hit singles "American Slang" and "Bring It On". In 2011, The Gaslight Anthem signed up with Mercury Records and in 2012, released it's fourth album "Handwritten". "Handwritten" was another solid album for the band featuring the singles "45" and "Here Comes My Man". That same year at the DeLuna Fest in Florida, Fallon had another treat when Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam joined them on stage to perform PJ's "State Of Love And Trust". In 2013 the band first released "Singles Collection" which featured the band's nine 7" singles in one package. They also released their very first DVD, "Live In London". 2014 saw the compilation "The B-Sides" released. This featured some, but not all, of The Gaslight Anthem's rare songs, acoustic songs and some live tracks as well. 2014 also saw the release of the band's most recent album, "Get Hurt". With singles like "Get Hurt", "Stay Vicious" and "Rollin' And Tumblin'", you can see the band was trying to alter their style a little bit, not necessarily in a good way. For me personally, I didn't think this stylistic change helped their sound. I think maybe they were trying to get away from the constant Springsteen comparisons but I think that sound is what made them a great band. I'm not saying the new album was terrible, I just didn't find it on par with their previous three releases. Currently, The Gaslight Anthem is in full support of "Get Hurt" doing the touring and promotion thing. The Gaslight Anthem is a band that makes me hopeful that rock and roll is not dead. Brian Fallon is a great songwriter and heartfelt singer and their songs, for the most part, are constructed beautifully. Though early on, they were lumped in the punk rock scene, I don't necessarily see them as a punk rock band. If you took many of the band's influences, bands like The Replacements, Bouncing Souls, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, The Clash, Social Distortion and The Rolling Stones, and mixed these band's styles in a pot, you'd probably churn out something that sounds like The Gaslight Anthem, a band I feel is one of the best out there right now.

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