Local Wire

The Gaslight Anthem

If you're a rock band that hails from pretty much anywhere in New Jersey, perhaps the greatest honor that could be bestowed upon you — more than a Grammy or induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — is for Bruce Springsteen to play with you onstage. It happened to The Gaslight Anthem back in June, when the Boss strode out from the wings at the massive Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. to join the New Brunswick quartet on "The '59 Sound," the title track from their most recent LP. Supposedly, sales of that album soared something like 200 percent after the gig. Every little bit helps, but The Gaslight Anthem's tunes are good enough to gain a following all on their own. Singer-guitarist Brian Fallon belts with such gravel and conviction that you'd swear there are traces of Joe Strummer or Paul Westerberg DNA in the spit that flies from his mouth, while the band's rugged roots-punk attack — reminiscent of everyone from Social Distortion to the Replacements to Against Me! to Springsteen himself — is inspired, nostalgic, and, well, anthemic as hell.
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Michael Alan Goldberg