The Gaslight Anthem “The 59′ Sound” Review

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By Guest Writer, Andy Gorman

     I’m not really sure what I thought when I began to listen to The Gaslight Anthem’s “The ‘59 Sound.” As a fan of primarily bluegrass and folk music, I’ve never given punk rock bands a chance in the past.

     To me, the word “punk” brings out negative connotations. I think of the repetitious and monotonous sound of The Ramones, and dismiss any bands under the genre as boring.

     Listening to this album proved that the notions I had were far from the truth. I found myself hooked from the first song, “Great Expectations.” The passion and energy of the band was instantly recognizable, and I found myself tapping along on the steering wheel by the end of the song.

     The album has a modern sound to it, but their respect for their roots and the past is unmistakable. Song titles have cultural references from everything from Charles Dickens’ work to an 18th century Italian adventurer, and to Casablanca’s famous line, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” The way they use classic references to address modern day issues is nothing short of brilliant.

     My favorite tracks on the album were “Great Expectations” and “Miles Davis & the Cool”. These songs for me best exemplified the combination of elements from the classic rock era of the 60s and 70s with a more modern punk feel, which the album does brilliantly. Classic literary and musical references are ubiquitous, and deepened my appreciation for what I already thought was a great album.

     I do not claim to be a musical genius or understand exactly what musical elements the band is using in their music, but this album invigorated a love for a genre I had never even considered before.