Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Oxegen – Gaslight Anthem, Daniel Merriweather, Howling Bells

First capsule reviews of the day The Gaslight Anthem rock like beasts. When it comes to chronicling US small town blues and ennui, New Jersey punk-rockers The Gaslight Anthem are your only men right now. Aside from the fact that …

Sat, Jul 11, 2009, 16:35

   

First capsule reviews of the day

The Gaslight Anthem rock like beasts. When it comes to chronicling US small town blues and ennui, New Jersey punk-rockers The Gaslight Anthem are your only men right now. Aside from the fact that they’ve had the seal of approval from Bruce Springsteen, it helps that the band’s compulsive, frantic, lyrical songs are the real deal. The set is drawn mostly from their current blockbuster album “The ‘59 Sound”, a run of songs where frontman Brian Fallon’s references to high-top sneakers and sailor tattoos paint a vivid, evocative picture of their particular hood. Both the title track and “Miles Davis & The Cool” hit all the right spots, whipped into shape by bucaneering guitars. And to top it off, they look like they’re having a hoot.

No matter how hard he tries – and he’s trying so hard that he even has a bloody album under his oxter – Daniel Merriweather will be the bloke who sang “Stop Me” with Mark Ronson. His songs all throw similar shapes to that keeper but lack the hooks or the hummability.

Say what you like about Gary Lightbody’s band and their music (and we’ve heard it all), the Snow Patrol singer always come up trumps with band tips. He tipped Howling Bells and we really liked the Sydney band’s muscular widescreen classic indie. A bit Bunnymen in some places and a bit gothy elsewhere. Great stage presence too. Memo to self: check out their “Radio Wars” album.

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