Fans of The Gaslight Anthem know what they’re going to get when the band’s new album comes out next month. Handwritten, which will be released on July 23rd, is going to be an album of 11 straightforward, exciting rock music. They’re the kind of band that isn’t safe to listen to while driving, air guitar and drumming on the steering wheel are about to be the next texting epidemic.
All signs are pointing toward Handwritten being the album that puts The Gaslight Anthem over the edge and totally into the public consciousness. After playing Lollapalooza this summer they’ll travel to Europe to open for the Foo Fighters, probably the biggest band in the world. By the time they get home to New Jersey Gaslight could be booking arena tours of their own. That’s what they’ve been aiming for since 2007’s debut Sink or Swim. Every song sounds as good blaring out of rolled-down windows as they will rippling across huge audiences.
The band is often dismissed as a Bruce Springsteen rip off, only with more wooooaaaahhh’s. It’s hard to find fault with that, though, because many of the same critics have been bemoaning the lack of a flag carrier in the new generation of rock. The Gaslight Anthem can be corny, yeah, but all the best artists do sometimes. Here, the Boss’ enthusiasm makes up for his struggle with his lyrics.
The first single from Handwritten sounds like step one of Gaslight’s global domination. It’s called “45” and is literally about the joy of listening to music. Based on how this summer looks, someday a band will be trying to emulate The Gaslight Anthem like they have Springsteen.