Friday, April 1, 2011

Gaslight Anthem Gets Dirty With An EP

The Gaslight AnthemWhile American Slang by New Brunswick rockers The Gaslight Anthem still has people spinning as the once punk-urgent band took a bigger turn toward heartland rock, the less listened to Live At Park Ave. that set the stage for the transition is even more timeless. SideOneDummy finally released a digital version of the once vinyl-only edition a few days ago.

The dirty, gritty recording of six tracks recorded at Park Ave. strips away all the studio perfection, creating one of the best representations of a live performance by The Gaslight Anthem ever produced. Amazingly, SideOneDummy captures the warmth of vinyl despite its new digital form.

The Gaslight Anthem is best served live, every time.

Made up of Brian Fallon (vocals, guitar), Alex Rosamilia (guitar), Alex Levine (bass), and Benny Horowitz (drums), The Gaslight Anthem originally debuted with the badass, punk-infused basement rocker album Sink Or Swim that hooked alternative indie listeners. But at the same time the band was putting together its scrappy sophomore record The '59 Sound, it was also testing the waters with the Senor And The Queen EP.

One of the favorite reinventions on the Live EP is Miles Davis & The Cool (from '59 Sound), which removes the reverb and echo from Fallon's voice to create a smokier, rougher sound. Along with it, the entire production sounds deeper, broodier, and with a more influential bassline similar to this live capture of their performance.

Other recasts do much the same. Once Upon A Time ('59 Sound) removes the backing vocals and focuses all the attention on Fallon's emotional strainings. Here's Looking At You Kid drops the percussion, giving the guitar more weight.

The Navesink Banks (Sink Or Swim) carries a fuller sound while Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts (Senor And The Queen) is stripped down. And Film Noir (The '59 Sound) sounds as if it could have been released by a different band all together (from the original).

Much like their surprise slowdown cover of Tumbling Dice by The Rolling Stones, Live At Park Ave. hints at the mid-tempo moods and jazz-infused weathering of things to come from the band. While nothing compares to the Stones' original version of the often covered song, The Gaslight Anthem makes it their own much like Linda Ronstadt and Molly Hatchet did.

Tumbling Dice is scheduled to be released in April on a new split 7" inch set with the Fake Problems. It will be limited to 2,500 copies. Shop Radiocast will release 500 copies on Coke bottle clear; SideOneDummy will be releasing 500 copies on clear neon green; and the balance will be made on black. The exclusivity make will make it an immediate collector's gem.

Live At Park Ave. By The Gaslight Anthem Crunches Up 9.4 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

There was always much to like about The Gaslight Anthem and their steady sequence of hits. But lately, as foreshadowed by this live rarity, the band is doing its best work without the pressure of trying to make it. At the same time, they've retained their humanity, even while on tour when they had to cancel their performance in Tokyo.

Live At Park Ave. is available on iTunes. To date, it's an exclusive opportunity to pick up the tracks without trying to hunt down copies of the original vinyl release.
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