The Gaslight Anthem - Seņor and the Queen
Record Label: Sabot Productions
Release Date: February 12, 2008
The Gaslight Anthem are something special. Not only did they release an outstanding album last year (2007's widely heralded Sink or Swim), but on tour supporting that album they managed to record four more songs. The fruits of their work have become the Seņor and the Queen EP, a collection that covers ground that will be familiar to those who loved Sink or Swim and gives evidence of a (relatively) new band progressing.
The EP opens guns blazing with the title track, "Seņor and the Queen." It seems even more upbeat compared to their straightforward pop punk on previous effort. Vocalist Brian Fallon sounds a tad less gritty and a little more confident in his more than capable singing voice, without losing that gritty feel that has attracted many listeners to the band. He also manages to throw in a little guitar harmonizing with lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia on the track "Seņor and the Queen." Fallon isn't the only one improving in the band; drummer Benny Horowitz steps up his game greatly with his powerful performance on "Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?" providing a mix of catchy dance beats and powerful rock crashing in the chorus. Alex Levine's bass lines are turned up in the mix, but unfortunately do not provide anything special outside the general rhythm formula. Alex Rosamilia is generally sticking to his guns on the lead guitar work, which consists of low mixed leads generally overshadowed by Fallon's voice, although he does add some rather fitting touches to the closing track "Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts" with high leads played dripping with delay.
From showing someone the night of their life in "Seņor and the Queen"and "Say I Won't (Recognize)" to the powerful spilling of Fallons' guts in "Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?" and "Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts," the lyrics paint pictures of youth and young love. The band reveals its share of tricks, like adding female vocals to "Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts," the bops in the backing vocals for "Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?" and the gang vocal enriched interlude "(Say I Won't Recognize)." With the addition of the above average production, the only big problem is, it will leave you wanting more. The end of the album, after the final track ends, is feedback, the definitive rock segue. When that feedback comes, I suggest you start this EP over again. It will be a while before their new full length.
What you have here is exactly what it is, a four song EP of straight up rock that covers a lot of ground. For $3.99 digital I would recommend this to anyone who likes catchy rock and roll.