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 Different/weird sounding TGA

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jzancan
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PostSubject: Different/weird sounding TGA   Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:29 pm

Brian's talked a lot about creating an album that's different - or weird - but still sounds like a Gaslight Anthem album. I wanted to get people's thoughts: In your eyes, have they already done that? Is there a record that stands out to you as totally (or mostly) distinct from the others? Have they already released their "weird" record?

My take:

To me, their records sound different or have their own sort of signature, with, for the most part, the same types of songs done a little differently. Sink or Swim was fast, with deep, rough vocals; T59S was more open chords, not as heavy, but still fast, with much smoother vocals; and Handwritten had Brian belting out his top-of-the-head vocals...

I left American Slang out on purpose, because that to me is their weird one. Whenever I hear Brian talk about doing a different-and-a-little-weird-TGA thing, in my head I'm always like, "You did that already! Don't you remember that album you never seem to look back fondly on?" I don't think he realizes it yet, because not enough time has passed. (He always talks about that one Pearl Jam record that people were apprehensive and a little "eh" about, then years later everybody loves it. I think that's AS.)

The detractors for American Slang said that it sounded like T59S b-sides, but I never understood that, with the exception of some parts and most of Alex R's guitar lines. But if you go through the songs on that album, there were some totally weird ones, by Gaslight standards, anyway (and a couple just in general). I think the album itself has a unique quality to it among TGA records, but these are the tracks that stand out to me as either "weird" or "different" by TGA standards in terms of structure, style, and/or arrangement:

Bring It On - IMO, more versatile than any Gaslight song to that point. It took their basic structure and loosened it up - small chord changes during the verses, an extended second chorus that sort of acted as a bridge (not to mention actual bridge that stopped the song in it's tracks, then picked it back up again)

Diamond Church Street Choir - not "weird" by any means, but I was totally taken back - I'd never heard TGA like this, and never thought I would

Queen of Lower Chelsea - muted plucking, Clash-esque riff, a rhythm we hadn't really heard from them, and that breakdown in the outro, man.

Old Haunts - the verses really, more so than the chorus: the rhythm-riff, the vocal line, the whole arrangement.

We Did It When We Were Young - You've heard it. You know. The first time I listened to it, I was like, what the fuck was that?

Other albums have their one "weird" song (Angry Johnny, Cowgirls, Biloxi Parish), but American Slang has arguably half an album of those. As for the other songs, they share enough with other Gaslight songs that I wouldn't call them "out there" really, but I do think the presentation in general on American Slang was pretty different from other records. Maybe that had to do with the whole "no open chords, just guitar parts" thing that Ted Hutt pushed.

But, hey, that's just me. What do you think? What are your weird Gaslight works?
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PostSubject: Re: Different/weird sounding TGA   Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:52 pm

jzancan wrote:


I left American Slang out on purpose, because that to me is their weird one. Whenever I hear Brian talk about doing a different-and-a-little-weird-TGA thing, in my head I'm always like, "You did that already! Don't you remember that album you never seem to look back fondly on?"  I don't think he realizes it yet, because not enough time has passed. (He always talks about that one Pearl Jam record that people were apprehensive and a little "eh" about, then years later everybody loves it.  I think that's AS.)


Great point!  I can see how it could be considered a "weird" album since it's so distinct from their other stuff.  I don't know how familiar you are with Pearl Jam, but I think AS could be considered their "Vitalogy."  It's not as weird as "No Code" (the one Brian was referencing in the interviews about "Get Hurt") but still a pretty big departure from the sound of their first two albums. PJ fans grumbled about some of the experimental aspects of "Vitalogy" when it first came it out, but it's now considered to be a great record, maybe even their best.  Even though the first two tracks we've heard from "Get Hurt" aren't too crazy (R&T sounds like classic Gaslight and the title track sounds like the Horrible Crowes), it seems like there will still be a number of surprises on the album.  While I doubt they're gonna go full "No Code" with worldbeat and spoken word tracks, it sounds like there'll be a lot more contrast between heavy and softer stuff a long with more atmosphere/layering and different sounds. Maybe years from now AS will be remembered as their greatly overlooked different-sounding album, but I have a feeling Get Hurt will one up it in the "weirdness" department.
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PostSubject: Re: Different/weird sounding TGA   Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:57 am

I think every Gaslight Anthem has had it's weird song(s).

On Sink or Swim, they have Navesink Banks and Red At Night. Acoustic low key songs that don't fit with the high energy of the record. Really stand out songs and they given the album a moment to breath

On The '59 Sound, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, the vibe of the track feels different than the rest. It's a little darker. Still a Gaslight song, but it feels like its from a different place.

On American Slang, as mentioned, We Did It When We Were Young. Though the album is different from the previous two, I still think each album is and has been different sounds of the Gaslight Anthem well still sounding like the same band. We Did It is buried at the end of the album. It kind of has a hidden track feel in how it creeps in. I gotta agree that when Brian mentioned weird songs and double recording vocals and whatever else this song came to mind. I think it was wise to let it conclude the album and it would have been jarring anywhere else.

On Handwritten I'd say there are a few songs that are weird or different but don't venture as far. National Anthem because it's a ballady acoustic song that has different vibe than the acoustics on SoS. Blue Dahlia has the key changes and it's disjointed moments, but still a great song. Biloxi Parish is also different as in the same way Even Cow Girls was on 59.

Get Hurt, well maybe everything will be a little weird and different, making weird normal for the album, but not for the bands catalogue. I think Get Hurt and Rollin' and Tumblin fit right in with the bands discography, but will belong on this album.

Over analyzed...yes
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Steve70s
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PostSubject: Re: Different/weird sounding TGA   Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:15 am

American Slang is my favourite - the lyrics are the best of any album IMHO
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