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 Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?

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StitchesOnTheRadio
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PostSubject: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:34 pm

It seems like lately every time American Slang (the album not the song) comes up in an article or interview, it's not just reviewers saying it "fizzled" but even the guys are talking about it being too forced or not as good as they wanted it or whatever. I'm going to try and find examples but I'm sure everyone's seen them.

Why are they hating on this album so much? Personally I think it's their best so far. I hope it doesn't mean they're going to continue to barely play anything off of it.

Here's one example, I can't for the life of me find the others.

http://www.pitch.com/wayward/archives/2012/07/09/gaslight-anthem-guitarist-alex-rosamilia-on-the-cure-european-tours-and-handwritten
"You could hear the pressure we put on ourselves on American Slang — not that I'm saying it was a bad record. It was like, I feel that it was too calculated, y'know?"

-I know he says he's not saying it's bad, that's not the best example. I'll keep looking.


Is this frustrating anyone else?
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:39 pm

I don't understand this either. American Slang is my favorite album ever, and I thought it was well-received and got good reviews, so I have no clue where the negativity is coming from.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:40 pm

If you watch even the making of videos (and I can't remember exactly which one) they seem pretty stressed in that as well. Mainly because it was a follow up to their critically acclaimed album and they were worried to disappoint their fans. They aren't saying the album was bad, just that they didn't have the most fun recording it. Due to a number of different reasons. That's why the picked Nashville for recording handwritten. To get away from it all.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:46 pm

Okay, the added pressure and not enjoying the recording process as much makes sense, but I think the songs themselves are so strong, I don't get where any negativity comes from in that regard. But to each his own, some people just don't like it as much as the others. I hope the guys don't think badly about it though, because that would be really sad.

It seems like they had a great time recording in Nashville this time around, so hopefully it was a better experience all around.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:52 pm

Yeah, I get that it's mainly that the process wasn't what they wanted it to be and I'm glad that they found a better way of doing it. I guess I wouldn't worry as much if they weren't playing on average TWO songs from the album a night at these shows. I know they're trying to play older stuff but even playing 4 or 5 songs from it would still keep AS in the minority at the shows.

I also think it's crazy that they think it sounds pressured or whatever they said. I guess it's different if you were the one creating it, but I think, while it may not have been fun, they produced something amazing.

Do you think they felt better about it until it didn't get them the success they were maybe hoping for? Like they're downplaying it now because they're like "that wasn't our real attempt at success, Handwritten is." because they were disappointed? It's like they were frustrated it didn't do better and now they're trying to explain why that happened in order to make sense of it.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:55 pm

IrishNameAndAnInjury wrote:
Okay, the added pressure and not enjoying the recording process as much makes sense, but I think the songs themselves are so strong, I don't get where any negativity comes from in that regard. But to each his own, some people just don't like it as much as the others. I hope the guys don't think badly about it though, because that would be really sad.

It seems like they had a great time recording in Nashville this time around, so hopefully it was a better experience all around.

To my knowledge they haven't said anything bad about their songs. (If you are talking fans, yes, that's a different story) And as an artist you usually don't because even if there's a song, you aren't 100% thrilled about, there maybe a fan who it means the world to.

Unless someone posts in here saying the contrary ( that the band hate a certain song or that album.) I stand by that the negativity is just targeted at the recording experience.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:56 pm

American Slang is a near perfect album. It just really needs some open chords!

When you hear the title track live they're a godsend, really.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:56 pm

Unrelated: I put this in General Chat by accident.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:59 pm

StitchesOnTheRadio wrote:
Unrelated: I put this in General Chat by accident.

Fixed.

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:01 pm

Debonair wrote:
If you watch even the making of videos (and I can't remember exactly which one) they seem pretty stressed in that as well. Mainly because it was a follow up to their critically acclaimed album and they were worried to disappoint their fans. They aren't saying the album was bad, just that they didn't have the most fun recording it. Due to a number of different reasons. That's why the picked Nashville for recording handwritten. To get away from it all.

Did they record American Slang in NY? I know they did the writing here.

Fact is NYC makes a good man mean and is a city of day to day stressful experiences that I can barely tolerate anymore. I'd want to escape to Nashville too.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:04 pm

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:
Debonair wrote:
If you watch even the making of videos (and I can't remember exactly which one) they seem pretty stressed in that as well. Mainly because it was a follow up to their critically acclaimed album and they were worried to disappoint their fans. They aren't saying the album was bad, just that they didn't have the most fun recording it. Due to a number of different reasons. That's why the picked Nashville for recording handwritten. To get away from it all.

Did they record American Slang in NY? I know they did the writing here.

Fact is NYC makes a good man mean and is a city of day to day stressful experiences that I can barely tolerate anymore. I'd want to escape to Nashville too.

Yeah I believe they did because, if I remember correctly, the reason the bridge is on the cover art is because that was the one Brian drove on everyday to record.

Hey NY stresses me just driving in for a day Razz and Brian had to live there Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:32 pm

If I remember correctly (don't shoot me if you do), there were rumors going around about unrest in the band, and people on the internet were declaring it the end of days and Brian was going off on his own and leaving the band behind. All rumors, of course, but I've heard one of the Alex's reference to there being a bit of disagreement among the band during this time period.

Of course, I could be making this up off of stuff I think I read 2/3 years ago, but I dunno.


Last edited by MattL on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:33 pm

I finally saw the RedBull interview today. Great interview by the way! Brian is a pretty funny guy.

But, he did say that recording in New York was really stressful. To paraphrase, "There'd be guys that would just come in and sit on your desk on a Monday morning, and I'm thinking, 'hey man, I've got work to do, why are you sitting on my desk.' It was just annoying sometimes, so that's why we wanted to record in Nashville...it's like a 14 hour drive there, so quite a commitment for someone to come. haha"
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:48 pm

It's a great album. I prefer T59S, but i love AS.

I've always assumed it was the pressure they felt under after the acclaim T59S got (as has been said further up).
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:48 pm

Debonair wrote:


Hey NY stresses me just driving in for a day Razz and Brian had to live there Shocked

That's what I'm saying. Driving in for shows is about all I can handle. I just had a friend come up to visit me cus I couldn't take the idea of battling New Yorkers just to have dinner with them. To live IN the city would kill me. When I worked there, I was excited the minute I saw the Hudson River on the train ride home cus I felt like I could finally breathe!
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:55 pm

It's their least consistent release. It has a couple of their best songs on it too though. Overall it's a pretty good album. I tihnk it's just "die hard fans" of their original sound who don't really like it. Some fans want you to stay stagnant and show 0 growth as a band/songwriters, unfortunately.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:00 pm

Crosby Stan wrote:
It's their least consistent release. It has a couple of their best songs on it too though. Overall it's a pretty good album. I tihnk it's just "die hard fans" of their original sound who don't really like it. Some fans want you to stay stagnant and show 0 growth as a band/songwriters, unfortunately.

I personally feel that AS had some of the greatest songs the boys have ever done, the problem is the production. It trying its best to sound really clean and highly-produced, but not doing a good job of it. Its lost the more rawer sound SoS and T59S had, and didn't achieve the musical dynamics of Handwritten has shown. The songs are brilliant live, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:05 pm

MattL wrote:
Crosby Stan wrote:
It's their least consistent release. It has a couple of their best songs on it too though. Overall it's a pretty good album. I tihnk it's just "die hard fans" of their original sound who don't really like it. Some fans want you to stay stagnant and show 0 growth as a band/songwriters, unfortunately.

I personally feel that AS had some of the greatest songs the boys have ever done, the problem is the production. It trying its best to sound really clean and highly-produced, but not doing a good job of it. Its lost the more rawer sound SoS and T59S had, and didn't achieve the musical dynamics of Handwritten has shown. The songs are brilliant live, though.

Agreed. The production mos def threw alot of people off. You will always have those fans who love you for one particular sound though. As soon as you expand on that original sound, you lose them as fans.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:52 pm

Crosby Stan wrote:
It's their least consistent release. It has a couple of their best songs on it too though. Overall it's a pretty good album. I tihnk it's just "die hard fans" of their original sound who don't really like it. Some fans want you to stay stagnant and show 0 growth as a band/songwriters, unfortunately.

funny - i think AS is more consistent than 59, yet i think 59's best songs are stronger than those on AS. just goes to show, to each his own.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:39 am

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:
Debonair wrote:


Hey NY stresses me just driving in for a day Razz and Brian had to live there Shocked

That's what I'm saying. Driving in for shows is about all I can handle. I just had a friend come up to visit me cus I couldn't take the idea of battling New Yorkers just to have dinner with them. To live IN the city would kill me. When I worked there, I was excited the minute I saw the Hudson River on the train ride home cus I felt like I could finally breathe!

I've always lived near the city and it is overwhelming but it was just fun for a day or something. But I spent last month living there and I got so bitchy living there. I was always in a bad mood. Add that to the stress of making a record that has a lot riding one it, I'm impressed they're all still friends.

All I care is that they bring the songs back into the setlist. I hope they don't associate not liking the recording experience with not liking the album. Even though they're talking about the recording experience for the most part, they have talked about the album as a whole in a way that makes them sound like "well it fell short" and you all know how they are about playing songs they don't really like anymore. So yeah, this is me worrying.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:46 am

I did think American Slang was the weakest of the records. There are plenty of songs I love on it but if I could just hear them play SoS, Senor, and The 59 Sound at a show it wouldn't even bother me. Interesting though that someone posted on here that American Slang seemed to get the loudest crowd reaction at a recent show.

But as someone who writes songs (not anywhere near as good as Gaslight songs of course), I know how easy it is to hate songs you wrote that you used to like for no good reason at all. Sad but true...I cringe when I listen to my old songs, and I'm sure I'll cringe at what I'm writing now at a year or two.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:04 am

I think the pressure Brian felt, believing he had to do something better than the 59 Sound, absolutely impacted American Slang. Don't get me wrong, American Slang is still somewhere between a good and great album, but when Brian is on his "A" game, he creates nothing but GREAT stuff in my opinion and American Slang just doesn't quite have it. I've always felt that it was forced, unnatural, lacking honesty and sincerety. Brian did not get to go through a natural progression, as the 59 Sound did so well and created so many expectations, that Brian forced himself (almost overnight it seemed) into a new direction/musical territory (fearing not to repeat T59S, while at the same time trying to top it....according to what he thought others wanted to hear) all of which limited American Slang. What I've come to believe about Brian Fallon is.....he's at his best when he is personally excited and intrigued by the music he is making, when he's truly doing what he wants/desires and is setting no limits on himself, having fun with no pressure or feelings of having to conform or alter his sound to appease others. Such honest, natural, and passionate efforts have led to T59S, Elsie, and I suspect Handwritten. I really think the creation of Elsie was a learning experience and may have just prevented Brian and TGA from a major backslide in thier career.

This is just my impression anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:11 am

I personally think it didn't really live up to The '59 Sound in terms of unity and consistency... But I think The '59 Sound is one of the best albums of all time, so really that doesn't mean much.

All that I know is that it really shouldn't affect the live show. There are a lot of songs off of the album that I think are just fantastic live. The Spirit of Jazz, Orphans, and Bring it On should all get played a lot, for instance. But instead the ones they never seem to drop are American Slang and Queen of Lower Chelsea, which to me are consistently the weakest live... At least they do Diamond Church Street Choir a lot.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:33 am

I would LOVE for them to play Orphans more. Love that song's lyrics.
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PostSubject: Re: Why are the guys so negative about American Slang?   Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:40 am

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:
I would LOVE for them to play Orphans more. Love that song's lyrics.

THIS. It's one of the least likely songs from AS to be played and yet I think it's the hands down best on that album. I think part of the reason some people forget about American Slang's greatness is that the album ends up being represented by the songs that they play live consistently (which recently have only really been the title song and Queen of Lower Chelsea) when the best songs like Orphans and Stay Lucky don't get played.
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