If your taste in music includes strong raspy vocals, loud rock melodies and a whole lot of guitar shredding, The Gaslight Anthem's latest album, Handwritten, might just be what you're looking for.
The New Jersey rock band's fourth studio album brings listeners back to the 1950s, during the reign of rock and roll. Think muscle cars, grease, and a dash of Bruce Springsteen - these were just some of the images that the album managed to pop into my mind.
Opener "45" begins the album with the epitome of what rock and roll sounds like and SHOULD sound like. The second track, Handwritten, is my personal favourite on the album. The husky vocals of frontman Brian Fallon, combined with the guitar riffs in the chorus, send electrifying bolts of chills down my spine. Not bad a start to the record, I must say.
Here Comes My Man has an addictive chorus, which, as stupid as this may sound, makes me wanna wave my hands in the air, as Fallon serenades listeners in the track, crooning "oh sha-la-la, oh sha-la-la / Listen honey here comes my man".
While tracks such as Too Much Blood and Howl showcase Fallon's signature gravelly vocals sounding more fired up than ever, the band also experiments with a whole package of different guitar sounds within a single track in Biloxi Parish. The song first begins with a memorable guitar riff, which is followed up by an impressive guitar solo halfway through the track, and accompanied by extensive shredding throughout. Alex Rosamilia proofs to be the competent guitarist that he is, especially in this number.
Mae, another favourite of mine, is one of the slower and softer tracks on the album. What shone in this song was its lyrics, making the track the most honest and genuine one on the record.
The album finally closes with the track You Got Lucky, which is a pretty weird song, in my opinion. Fallon warns listeners "You better watch what you say / You better watch what you do to me" as he goes on about how "Good love is hard to find" and that whoever this person he is singing about, was lucky to have him. Um... egoistic much? I'm sorry but I just don't get it - what ever happened since after the beautiful lyrics we heard from Mae?
Despite the anti-climax of an ending to Handwritten, I enjoyed the album nonetheless. Handwritten boasts a series of catchy tunes in near-perfect content and delivery, which is a must-listen for every rock music lover! So go ahead, spin it!