“American Slang” is the title track from the New Brunswick, N.J., band’s forthcoming third full-length, due June 15 via SideOneDummy. The album is produced once again by Tedd Hunt, whose credits seem to be exclusively with Gaslight Anthem.
The song has that late ’90s Foo Fighters, mid-tempo, hard rock-but-radio feel, with Brian Fallon’s seemingly sea-salt battered lungs emoting lyrics that always quasi-rhyme but never quite do.
Some outlets are quipping that “American Slang” is a particularly Jersey song (maybe its their guiding Saint Springsteen on the “ohs”), but at least thematically, there’s a lot of religious imagery mixed in with heartbreak — with “I called for my father but my father had died,” references to “fortunes” and fate, angels, devils, along with war wounds , “cutting to ribbons”, “bandages”, “damages.” Getting inner-arm tattoos and the album’s photo montage cover is as Jersey as this gets.
That being said, I like it. It’s another mile toward the mainstream for these guys, which their New Brunswick brothers Bouncing Souls, Thursday and Lifetime never quite achieved, which will help put money in their pocket for one, but not without compromising their original sound. What I do wish is that they lay off the mastering overdrive, which puts the whole mix thisfar in front of your ears and then holds it there, a plight that’s plagued many rock radio artists today.
Gaslight Anthem’s sole, currently listed U.S. tour date is at Bonnaroo on June 11