Breaking: The Gaslight Anthem

September 17, 2008 11:21 AM ET

Who: The Gaslight Anthem, a quartet of blue collar punks from Bruce Springsteen's hood that tell stories about young romance and working-class folks on their new album The '59 Sound.

Sounds Like: Like New Jersey's prodigal son, New Brunswick's the Gaslight Anthem sound like a punked-out, supercharged version of early Bruce combined with the Replacements' angst and the Hold Steady's wit. "No surrender, my Bobby Jean," lead singer Brian Fallon sings on "Meet Me by the River's Edge," name-checking two Springsteen songs in one simple line.

Vital Stats:

• Fallon knows he's hit the big time because he's spending a hot summer day in his manager's office and not on some roof doing construction. "It's not cool to be working on a rooftop this time of year," says Fallon of his old job.

• They may not be the E Street band, but Fallon's first home was a mere four blocks away from E Street. Both bands share both the same water source and the ability to bridge the generations. "We get a lot of 13-year-olds who come with their dads," Fallon says of the band's concerts, which frequently feature covers of soul legends like Sam Cooke and Ben E. King.

• The band is blue collar at its core, with Fallon even developing a hobby of building homemade amplifiers — The '59 Sound refers to one of Fallon's custom jobs. "We're sensible Jersey boys," Fallon says. "Why blow money on a tour bus when you could get your mom a nice dress?"

Hear It Now: The '59 Sound lies waiting to blow out your speakers at music stores and digital services now. In the meantime, click above for a behind the scenes look at the creation of The '59 Sound as well as live footage of the album's title track.

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“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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