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The Gaslight Anthem, ‘Teenage Rebellion’ – Song Review

Handwritten
Mercury Records

Standing on a Manhattan rooftop last week, I was talking with a fellow music media type. I mentioned that I dug the new Gaslight Anthem, to which she exclaimed, “People love that band!” I confirmed that yes, they are to be adored: wrenching hearts and rocking hard, the boys from New Jersey capture something special — as is the case with ‘Teenage Rebellion,’ in which frontman Brian Fallon spills his guts with care.

Fallon is a raw dude. He has penned four albums of misty-eyed myth-making, sometimes fast and loud, sometimes soft and slow. Full of midnight strumming and predawn pianos, ‘Teenage Rebellion’ is the troubadour’s melodic-tragic bonus track to ‘Handwritten,’ their Diffuser.fm-adored fourth full-length.

While Fallon did perhaps “spill too much blood on the page” in ‘Handwritten,’ the record was still mostly howling electricity. In contrast, ‘Teenage Rebellion’ is pensive, heartwrenching, drunkenly mystical, with Fallon, in a verse, describing that “in the last hours before sunrise, I’m not sure if I passed out of closed my eyes,” and he “woke into a dream” where “somebody else got their claws in you.”

Visions aside (and included), the lyrical themes are Gaslight standards, with Fallon beseeching his muse for the umpteenth time that “if you’re gonna break my heart / It might as well be tonight.” That is to say, then, that the band knows what they do and they do it well: making rock that’s as yearning as it is burning.

Listen to the Gaslight Anthem, ‘Teenage Rebellion’

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