Brian Fallon, the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, has described his band’s new record as “Tom Petty songs played by Pearl Jam.” That’s a pretty apt assessment.
Handwritten, the New Brunswick, New Jersey quartet’s fourth full-length release, is an everyman’s rock record, a compelling and lively interpretation of classic Americana. It’s been two years since the band released American Slang and it seems that time was just what they needed to rejuvenate themselves.
Produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, AC/DC), Handwritten is the most thoughtful of the band’s records: It’s sensitive (“Mae”), passionate (“Too Much Blood,” “Desire”), and full of intense guitar melodies (“Handwritten”). Fallon’s unmistakable voice is well suited to the full sound of the album, with the punch of Eddie Vedder and the soulfulness of Petty.
Handwritten is a calculated, well-executed re-entry onto the music scene—and if their recent sold-out Opera House show is any indication, this band is only on the way up.
Playlist picks: “Mae,” “National Anthem,” “Keepsake”