The Gaslight Anthem are slowly but surely making their move toward the mainstream. On their new album, Handwritten, the New Jersey quartet ease up on their punk side to more fully explore their bar-band aesthetic. In the Gaslight Anthem's world, we're still living in 1975 and Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run is the biggest album on the planet. Even more so than on their last disc, American Slang, the band members are trying to concoct gloriously romantic love songs that have a melodramatic, cinematic quality to them. These guys aren't aiming for subtlety: They want to break your heart with their demonstrative guitar hooks. With Handwritten, they succeed.
Photo: Danny Clinch.