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CD Review: The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang 

The Deal: New Jersey quartet Gaslight Anthem aims to grab the rock 'n' roll torch from The Boss on its third album.

The Good: The band's music falls somewhere between a toned-down version of the straightforward rock of Social Distortion and the edge of Against Me!, while lyrically finding themselves on the path of storytellers like fellow Jersey musician Bruce Springsteen. Probably no surprise that they've opened for both Social D and Springsteen, then. Singer Brian Fallon doesn't have the growl of Mike Ness, but he does have the look. The riff of the title track sounds familiar, offering the perfect hook to draw the listener in. "Bring It On" has a Boss-like charm to it. "The Diamond Church Street Choir" has a '50s element to it with snapping fingers, doo-wop style choruses and simple rhythm.

The Bad: I don't think I can give the band a ton of points for originality, but they sure do the no-frills rock thing well. At times, it feels like they're holding back, but in a way, that's also part of the appeal.

The Verdict: The band was all smiles during their recent gig at Bonnaroo, and it's that kind of enjoyment that comes through in the music and may just give them the longevity fans hope for. I continually found myself thinking, "Damn, this is good!" It brings some youth and edge to the Springsteen style of blue-collar rock.

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