After a lack of new music, and the time to find it…

You know what? No, I’m not using that excuse. Life is busy at the moment, but we are the decisions we make. I’ve chosen to spend more time on the Get Your Melancholy On Facebook Page, which is more easily updated, and a more immediate reflection of my moods – but a shallower one.

Here, here is where I open my heart and my head when songs truly get to me. And today, one did.

I’ve posted about the Gaslight Anthem in November 2008, and lead singer Brian Fallon’s side project the Horrible Crows in Sepember of last year. The Gaslight Anthem is a band I love, but have dabbled in, as I’ve found their albums a little inconsistent – some great tracks, some not so great. Until this years “Handwritten”, their first big-label release, and while definitely a little more polished and radio-friendly at times (unsurprising, produced as it was by Brendan O’Brien, producer of the Fray, Bruce Springsettn, Pearl Jam, Train and more…), a powerful piece of work, consistent over most of it’s eleven tracks (or fourteen, if you bought the deluxe edition) – a number of which I see myself writing about here. But tonight, this night, there’s only one.

thegaslightanthem2

Earlier today, a friend of mine who loves the Gaslight Anthem more than me grew frustrated with my not having listened to “Handwritten” yet, depite it being released nearly a month ago (as I said, the decisions we make…) So, she sent me “National Anthem”, the final track. And after a couple of listens, I finally listened to the entire album. Now, hours later, I’ve listened to nothing else all day.

A slower-than-usual Gaslight Anthem track, “National Anthem”, like much of the Gaslight Anthem’s work, is like Bruce Springsteen fronting a slightly heavier version of the E Street Band (at times – at others, it is pretty much Bruce Springsteen fronting the E Street Band. And this isn’t a slight at the Gaslight Anthem – they wear their influences proudly).

But after not posting for a while, and with a collection of songs (genuinely!) that I still aim to post, why does “National Anthem” push its way to the front of the queue? Put simply, this quite basic song, with a plucked guitar and a slow building string section, Fallon’s pitch-perfect voice, and little else, cuts through me like a knife. For someone who has been reminiscing an awful lot on life lately, thinking about those decisions that make us more deeply than ever before…well…

I’ve been the one living with too many ghosts.

I’ve been the one screamed at.

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you, wild as they come
And though if I saw you I’d pretend not to know
The place where you were in my heart is now closed
I already live with too many ghosts…

And I cant stand the weather, no I never liked the rain
We drink on the job then we go home early
And I remember she used to look so good in that dress
Now she just screams how I promised her more than this
Take it easy baby, it ain’t over yet

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you, wild as they come
And though if I saw you I’d pretend not to know
The place where you were in my heart is now closed
I already live with too many ghosts

Now everybody lately is living up in space
Flying through transmissions on invisible airwaves
With everything discovered just waiting to be known
What’s left for God to teach from his thrown?
And who will forgive us when he’s gone?

So, take what you need now honey
And do what you like
Don’t worry about me Mama, I’m alright

And I cant stand the weather, no I never liked the rain
We drink on the job then we go home early
And I remember she used to look so good in that dress
Now she just screams how I promised her more than this
Take it easy baby, it ain’t over yet

So, take what you need now honey
And do what you like
Don’t worry about me Mama, I’m alright

And if there’s something you need
And if there’s something you find
Whatever gets you through the night
Whatever gets you through the night

I never will forget you my American love
And I’ll always remember you wild as they do come

The Gaslight Anthem – National Anthem

www: The Gaslight Anthem’s official website, Facebook Page, Twitter, and MySpace.