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The Diamond Church Street Choir / Boxer by The Gaslight Anthem

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Reviewed on 10th August 2010.

 
 

The Diamond Church Street Choir / Boxer

By The Gaslight Anthem

You have to feel for The Gaslight Anthem, faced with the task of writing a follow up to their breakthrough 'The '59 Sound' album. Their solution to this, is to do a complete about-turn and replace the nostalgic southern rock they're best known for, with cheerful handclaps and finger-clicking. It takes some getting used to, and neither song on this split single makes half the impact of their yearning sophomore album, but on 'Boxer' and 'The Diamond Church Street Choir,' The Gaslight Anthem sound like they're having the time of their lives, and (once you get over the shock) their enthusiasm is infectious.

The production is far too slick, but the hollered "whoa-oh-oh!"s that abound on 'The Diamond Church Street Choir,' could break through even the toughest studio polish - and Brian Fallon's voice is thankfully unaffected by the glossy production. 'Boxer' is the strongest of the two songs even if, again, it's not what you were expecting from The Gaslight Anthem. Trading bluesy guitar lines for glimmering chords, it's Brian Fallon's snappy vocal performance which really carries this song through. He'll get you singing in no time; and when he breaks out of the twitching and unleashes that impassioned holler, The Gaslight Anthem prove they can still tug at the heart strings.

Although slightly too slick and stylish to capitalise on the everyman appeal of 'The '59 Sound,' switching nostalgia for a sunnier attitude is a brave move, and one that seems to have paid off. A single to divide opinion amongst existing fans.

 

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On 10th August 2010 at 21:25 Anonymous 3358 wrote...

Not sure that New Jersey counts as Southern Rock? This tune is more reminiscent of early Springsteen than anything else, so isn't a big departure really, just a bigger tip of the hat to obvious influences. Boxer is probably the finest song on the album.

 
 
 

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