The Gaslight Anthem, "American Slang"

82 Billboard Rating

The Gaslight Anthem makes music for the red-blooded and blue-collared. And on its newest album, "American Slang" (the follow-up to 2008's critically acclaimed "The '59 Sound"), the group spit-shines its soundtrack for working-class America. Cuts like the title track and "The Spirit of Jazz" coat the band's near-perfected formula-part stomping beats, part slick riffs and a healthy serving of singer Brian Fallon's undeniably Bruce Springsteen-esque howls-with glossier production. But that's not all the band has to offer. The plucky guitar parts on "The Queen of Lower Chelsea" drip with influence from Modest Mouse and the Cure, and the closing "We Did It When We Were Young" is smoky and soulful. The song "Boxer" begins with choppy, muted guitar that encourages hip shaking, and although it gives way to wailing licks and punk-flavored chords, the drums keep the feel alive. On "The Diamond Street Church Choir," Fallon asks with his unmistakable Bruce-like tremor, "Who does it better than we do?" The answer? No one, except maybe the Boss himself.--Lindsey Fortier

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