The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten (2012)

Posted: July 31, 2012 by Anthony in Album
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The Gaslight Anthem are back with a new album that is sure to please fans and newcomers alike. Following up from their last album comes Handwritten; an 11-song full-length that is teeming with melody and brokenhearted lyrics to boot. If you were turned-off by 2010’s American Slang, you’re in luck. Handwritten boasts a style that can only be described as a fusion of The ’59 Sound and Sink or Swim but adds in a new flavor all at the same time. The album as a whole has a very Hot Water Music-ish feel to it, but with more of a bluesy undertone on many of the tracks (which is to be expected of TGA at this point)

The album kicks off with “45” and it starts with a bang. The track is incredibly catchy and driving, this will be one for the sing-a-longs for quite some time. The following 8 tracks after are all enjoyable as well, containing an array of melodic hooks (the title track is also quite good.) However, I think what stood out to me most were the last two tracks: “Mae” & “National Anthem” which I feel are the album’s strongest and a great way to close the album with an achingly melancholic tone. Bonus tracks also include a Nirvana and Tom Petty cover! The former was not expected but is certainly welcome.

The verdict: While this isn’t treading entirely new ground, Handwritten boasts a likely progression for the band and I feel it is their best yet. It’s great to see that a band who is on their 5th release not losing steam just yet. If you can catch them live, I strongly suggest doing so (if you can successfully wade through the rivers of people struggling to get a ticket)

4/5 kegs

– Anthony John Czerwinski

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