Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

The Gaslight Anthem

Sink or Swim

(XOXO; US: 12 Jun 2007; UK: 9 Jul 2007)

The Gaslight Anthem aren’t the first band to hold up New Jersey’s ultra-suburbanism with pop-punk pride. The group, which has been around since 2005, has just released its debut album Sink or Swim—and the thing is a sort of love letter to the state, dressed in the guise of messy and not-too-inventive punk rock. This kind of band most likely has passionate fans—locals, who get the references, who have grown familiar to these reiterations of familiar melody—but it’s difficult to persuade the rest of us of the necessity of hearing The Gaslight Anthem, really. The depressed, baritone punk mix recalls Alkaline Trio, though this group’s rawer; the mix is amateurish and quite top-heavy, purposefully demo-esque. A bit like early Pennywise. Tunes like “Wooderson” show a band that knows how to write sunny punk melody just fine, and perhaps with a bit more passion than most of the teenage garage groups—but is that enough these days? Occasionally, as on “We Came to Dance”, the band hits on a nice twist: vocalist Brian Fallon goes slightly faster then that instruments, as if he’s dragging them along. For a moment, they even manage to find nostalgia in a Central New Jersey sunset.

Rating:

Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


Media
The Gaslight Anthem - Drive
Related Articles
By PopMatters Staff
25 Aug 2014
The Gaslight Anthem brings a full-throated rock and roll approach to its performance of many of the tunes on, Get Hurt, their latest studio outing, live on the Wal-Mart Soundcheck stage.
10 Aug 2014
Jersey boys' fifth flirts outrageously with flamenco, Hi-NRG, dubstep and Oompah. No, not really.
30 Jan 2014
The Gaslight Anthem’s succinctly titled The B-Sides gives you nothing more, though maybe a little less, than what the title promises.
By Jason Leahey
9 Aug 2012
The Gaslight Anthem is more than an American band born in the world of 45s and tat sleeves and porkpie hats.
discussion by

Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.