The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem

Cheap Girls, Matthew Ryan

Thu, November 29, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY

$30 advance / $35 day of show

This event is all ages

The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem
Brian Fallon - guitars, vocals
Alex Rosamilia - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Alex Levine - bass, vocals
Benny Horowitz - drums, percussion, vocals

The Gaslight Anthem has always been hard; with GET HURT, the New Jersey-based rock 'n' roll band get heavy. Since coming together in 2007, the band has joyfully injected aspects of rock's most universal languages -- arena rock and barroom blues, folk and pure pop -- into punk's round hole, ultimately forging its own powerful, populist sound. 2012's HANDWRITTEN proved the apogee for The Gaslight Anthem's anthemic approach, scoring top 10 chart debuts in eight countries around the globe. Having climbed the mountaintop, the band has chosen to push their music farther than ever before, not via extra instrumentation or expanded arrangements, but by blowing up the template from stem to stern. Massive melodies and shout-to-the-top choruses are still well in hand, but songs like "1,000 Years" and the searing title track draw on grunge and symphonic pop, soul and psychedelia, all shot through with limitless ambition, experimental energy, and collectivist spirit.

"It wasn't exactly clear when we started what we were going to do," says singer/guitarist Brian Fallon. "We just knew we had to change it up in order to maintain being a relevant band to ourselves. There really wasn't anything else to say or do on those avenues that we had already walked on."

Having recorded HANDWRITTEN with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen), the band chose a less likely collaborator in Mike Crossey. In April 2014, Gaslight Anthem and the Irish-born producer -- known for his work with Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, and The 1975, among others -- convened at Nashville's Blackbird Studios. From the jump, the band's M.O. was to "just try everything," says Fallon. "Nothing was off limits, nothing was off the table. Everything was fair game."

Fallon suggests the sessions first bore unanticipated fruit with the album-opening "Stay Vicious." Rolling drums tumble into a gargantuan neo-metallic stomp, an instantly transformative riff that hearkens the alternative rock that soundtracked the band's coming of age. Suffice to say, "Stay Vicious" blasted the Gaslight Anthem's creative door off its hinges.

"We've never done anything like that before," Fallon says. "I thought Mike was going to think I went off the deep end. But he told me this is great, keep going like this. That sort of freed me up to go and try everything else."

With songs "all coming from different places than we'd ever come from before," the Gaslight Anthem reexamined and honed its own instincts and methodology. Electronic instruments and computer technology were used for the first time in their history, adding unexpected rhythmic flux to Alex Levine and Benny Horowitz's indefatigable engine room. Long inspired by post punk adventurism, Alex Rosamila's guitars are textured and harmonized; noisy and stuttering on tracks like "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and the closing "Dark Places." Up front, Fallon sought a vocal sound to match the musical unrest, layering his trademark shout with processed harmonies and a wracked roar he joking likens to "trying to sing like a lady in the 60s."

"I was just trying anything," he says. "I didn't feel locked into that same low baritone."

To be clear: The Gaslight Anthem of GET HURT is the same band that first broke out worldwide with 2008's THE '59 SOUND, only with greater range, skill, and yes, maturity. For all their amplified muscle and intricacy, songs like "Get Hurt" and the haunting "Break Your Heart" reveal a finely limned subtlety, etched in hitherto untouched shades of sonic grey.

"To start a song quietly and just let it breathe for a minute," says Fallon, "those things were difficult to do. We were trying to let the soft moments be soft. Everybody needs a break, even on a record."

Fallon took a parallel approach towards his lyrics, exploring more abstract and oblique narrative paths to better express his own emotional truth. The expanded depth of field sees his always vibrant, character-based storytelling colored by increasingly complex use of language and stream of consciousness spontaneity.

"It was a real working out process," he says. "I just said, I'm going to write what I think and what I'm dealing with at this moment. I don't know if it's the truth or if this feeling is going to last, but I'm just going to let it out. I just let it go. That's what was happening, that was real."

"Stray Paper" -- which features impassioned backing vocals from the one and only Sharon Jones -- provides what is perhaps the album's most transcendent moment, its intricately orchestrated hooks and modernist dynamics unlike anything in The Gaslight Anthem's remarkable canon. Rich with imagery and metaphorical flight, the song's magic realism proved a revelatory mind blower for its creator.

"I had never written from that point of view," Fallon says. "With 'Stray Paper' I feel that I touched something that I'd like to continue through the rest of my career. I would like to continue down that path and find out what else is there."

The Gaslight Anthem faced a dilemma that has confronted many bands in a similar position -- how to keep on growing while holding true to the initial vision that has earned them a legion of fervent fans around the world. Their response is audacious, energized and enduring. GET HURT might be defiantly transitional but at its heart, the Gaslight Anthem's song remains the same.

"You can never lose who you are," Fallon says. "No matter how much you change, you can never lose that core of what makes you you. If you're honest with yourself, that core remains. You don't find yourself lost in some genre you have no business being in -- you create your own."
Cheap Girls
Cheap Girls
There's no need to check your ears or your calendars folks. It's not 1993. However, the honest and straightforward rock that Cheap Girls brings might successfully transport some to the days when slick overproduction was unheard of and autotuned vocals were just a myth. Adam Aymor and Ian Graham started kicking around the idea of doing a new band in the fall of 2006. At first it was more talk than actual work. It wasn't until the beginning of 2007 and the addition of Ben Graham on drums that Cheap Girls began firing on all cylinders. Influenced by the Lemonheads, Superchunk, The Old 97's, Green Day, Superdrag and Samiam, they produce a sound filled with pounding drums, jangly guitars and super sweet vocal melodies that harkens back to a simpler time and place. What started as an idea of a laid-back band as an extra thing to do after work suddenly transformed itself into a national and soon to be internationally touring band. They've already managed to traverse the east coast several times, tour into the southern US for The Fest and have plans set up for a European tour in May and full US tour in the Fall. With several releases under their belt, Cheap Girls keep getting better and better. Starting out with the "Throw Fits" EP (limited to 100 and all hand numbered) that they self-released and the "Find Me a Drink Home" LP (Bermuda Mohawk, Los Diaper, Quote Unquote) released in April of 2008, Cheap Girls have already begun work on their second LP. Paper + Plastick decided that Cheap Girls were too good to pass up and will be repressing the remastered version of the "Find Me a Drink Home" LP and releasing the bands newest album which is being recorded with Rick Johnson of Bomb the Music Industry and Mustard Plug. The new album is expected to see the light of day sometime around mid 2009.
Matthew Ryan
Matthew Ryan
Singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan is a working-class man, already pegged in the press as another passionate lyricist compared to the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen. Such heavy parallels, however, do not overshadow the Chester, PA, native. He signed with A&M in 1996 and released May Day a year later. Ryan's expressive personal convictions continued on his sophomore effort, East Autumn Grin, which was released in September 2000
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019