Posted by: will | June 26, 2007

The Gaslight Anthem…


The Gaslight Anthem “Sink Or Swim” (XOXO)


Talk about a band coming out of nowhere. Sink Or Swim is as impressive a debut album I have heard in a long, long time. The Gaslight Anthem hail from New Brunswick, New Jersey and play rough and tumble punk rock n’ roll. This is some fantastic stuff that fans of Avail, Jawbreaker, Leatherface, Lucero, Against Me! and even the boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, should absolutely fall in love with. It is rare that an album comes along with not one song of filler material. Sink Or Swim rips through twelve tracks, each memorable in their own unique way.

Sink Or Swim has that same feel of Against Me’s debut Reinventing Axl Rose. It is one of those rare debuts that you can feel the passion dripping from the band. There is nothing that has corrupted The Gaslight Anthem yet. You are listening to something completely real and pure. Vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon proves he is an amazing talent. He leads the way with his gravelly vocals and street-wise poetic lyrics. This is anthemic punk rock with the unique storytelling aspect of folk rock added to it. The band shows their incredible range across the album. There are two slower, acoustic-based tracks which quickly become stand outs on Sink Or Swim. The songs have a rustic sound like they could be straight off Springsteen’s dark classic, Nebraska. There are also numerous odes to great songwriters like Woodie Guthrie, Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer all over Sink Or Swim. The Gaslight Anthem’s influences are impressive but they never overshadow or overwhelm the band. They only serve as to enhance the depth of where Sink Or Swim is coming from.

After only a few listens I found myself singing lines from this album over and over while doing the most trivial of tasks. I was and still am completely addicted to Sink Or Swim. On their debut, the band has surpassed where most bands fail to get to in a whole career. The Gaslight Anthem prove they are a force to be reckoned with. Sink Or Swim will no doubt be a classic that will serve as a blueprint for countless other bands in the future. Yeah, it really is that good.

RIYL: Leatherface, Lucero, Against Me!


The Gaslight Anthem – I’da Called You Woody, Joe (mp3)

The Gaslight Anthem – Angry Johnny And The Radio (mp3)

The Gaslight Anthem – Drive (video)



  1. […] it out of the SAL Top Ten of 2007 at the end of the year. Check out my review of Sink Or Swim here. Vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon was kind enough to field some questions from SAL recently. The […]

  2. […] from obscurity to being one of my favorite bands (and isn’t that what it’s all about?). Sink or Swim was one of my favorite albums of 2007 and my love for the band only increased after seeing them […]

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