The Gaslight Anthem

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
Handwritten
(Mercury Records)

‘Handwritten’ is more of a natural evolution than ground-breaking revolution for The Gaslight Anthem, with not a great deal changing sound or format wise. But this is no criticism as again the band presents another solid album that portrays their All-American Rock’n’Roll/Post-Punk style.

With a mixture of Bruce Springsteen charisma and Hot Water Music emotive rock, title track ‘Handwritten’ and first single from the album ‘45’ are nostalgic perfection. There is something about The Gaslight Anthem ‘s vintage sounding guitar tone that touches the heart and sends the mind back to a time and age that not many of us have visited.

The main area of evolution for the band is the lyrical content which appears more open, personal and engaging. A perfect example of the lyrical maturity coming at the end of the album, the beautifully captivating acoustic track ‘National Anthem’ is the definitive moment of the record and the perfect conclusion. Brain Fallon claims to have written the song in one take, yet again demonstrating his unrivaled song writing talent and emotional awareness.

You can always trust in The Gaslight Anthem to deliver but although ‘Handwritten’ is bloody good, it seems nothing will quite match their second (and mainstream breakthrough) full-length ‘The ’59 Sound’. Despite ‘Handwritten’ hosting its own potentially stadium filling anthems and vintage gems, ‘The ’59 Sound’ still remains the bands’ strongest effort to date, arguably this may remain the same for a long time, after all you can’t beat perfection.

Words: Emma Wallace

Groezrock Festival preview feature

groezrock2012The time is nearing when a significant contingent of English punk fans will de-camp to Meerhout in Belgium for Europe’s premier punk festival GROEZROCK.

Scheduled for the end of April, the event will see the cream of the crop descend on a field in the sleepy village of Meerhout once more. A mixture of old-school punk stalwarts (including Rancid), re-united greats (including Refused) and up-and-coming buzz bands (including The Menzingers) will play on a number of stage over two days.

Having become regular attendees of the festival, Winegums is excited to get over there again this year. Here is the Crossfire rundown of some top picks at the festival. It’s pretty hard to narrow them down, mind.

28th APRIL

Yellowcard

Currently working on a new album, Yellowcard make a welcome return to Europe for select performances this Spring, Groezrock being one of them. Bouncy, violin-embellished pop-punk to get everyone singing along.

Lifetime

Reformed hardcore legends will be bringing the old-skool to Groezrock this year. Expect stage diving and lots of it.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Consistently legendary in their festival performances, let’s hope this particular set is lacking in human shit.

Set Your Goals

Best served with sunshine, Set Your Goals’ unique dual-vocalled brand of pop-punk will hopefully bring out the good weather in Belgium this time around.

None More Black

Continuing Groezrock’s theme of booking cult acts on their inimitable bill, None More Black will be showcasing frontman Jason Shevchuk’s unique gruff vocals leading punk rock fun for festival-goers across the event.

The Wonder Years

Literary references and wry autobiographical anecdotes abound in your average Wonder Years set but you can count on their delivery being anything but average. The most fun of fun pop-punk bands. Without the dumb lyrics.

Gallows

Now on the road with new vocalist Wade McNeil, formerly of Alexisonfire fame, Gallows will serve up their usual vigorous 1-2 punch of rock and roll hardcore, no doubt.

I Am The Avalanche

Following the release of last year’s astonishingly brilliant ‘Avalanche United’, I Am The Avalanche continue their campaign to play in Europe as much as humanly possible with their Groezrock slot. Get ready for fists in the air and rousing singalongs.

The Menzingers

Having just released their critically lauded album ‘On The Impossible Past’, The Menzingers have a lot to live up to. We’re convinced their live set at Groezrock will be the perfect festival event.

29th APRIL

Refused

What can we say? One of the comebacks of the year, this is surely the most highly anticipated set of the festival. When those first notes of New Noise ring out, all hell is going to break loose.

Thrice

Sadly this will be their last turn on European soil as the band announced their decision to call it quits at the end of last year. Make sure you don’t miss out on seeing one of the best bands to emerge in the last decade.

Gorilla Biscuits

More classic hardcore on the bill here, these guys are sure to be a popular draw of the festival! “Let’s Start Today” please.

Hot Water Music

With an amazing new album on the way, HWM will undoubtedly be premiering new material but you can be sure they’ll be bringing out the classics too. Maybe even that Bouncing Souls cover that they pulled out at Reading fest last year?

The Bronx

The Bronx never ever disappoint. 100 % always a must see band for optimal smiles and party potential.

The Dangerous Summer

For something rather more mellow, head to The Dangerous Summer’s set. You’ll find expertly crafted melodies oozing with heartfelt sentiment.

groezrockfestival2012