New Jersey’s the Gaslight Anthem has come a long way since forming in 2004, when vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon, bassist Alex Levine, drummer Benny Horowitz and guitarist Alex Rosamilia first started fusing their punk roots with a love of classic soul music and more than a dash of Bruce Springsteen’s working class lyrical sensibilities.
Gaslight’s first release, Sink or Swim, was recorded in two weeks and released in May 2007 to broad acclaim from the punk underground and critics alike. Touring relentlessly throughout that year and playing more than 200 shows with acts including Against Me!, the Loved Ones and the Bouncing Souls, the band proved itself to be highly charismatic onstage night after night.
The band released four-song EP Señor and the Queen in February 2008 before recording second album The ’59 Sound that April. The album further illustrated the Gaslight Anthem’s talent for fusing the band’s love for classic rock and soul icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Wilson Pickett and Tom Petty with their own New Jersey punk rock roots; avoiding distorted guitars and endless layering in favor of carefully arranged and painstakingly crafted tracks that keep the band’s signature dynamism and youthful live energy.
The Gaslight Anthem wrapped up European and Australian headlining tours and several Vans Warped Tour dates in summer 2008 before making its U.K. debut in late August at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The band headlined around the United States in September 2008, followed by an October/November North American tour with Rise Against, Alkaline Trio and Thrice.