Over their eight years of playing together and recording four albums in the process, New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem have managed to scoop up enough studio outtakes to piece together a B-sides album. 

 

The 11-song LP is dominated by acoustic versions of existing songs taken from their studio albums. ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The ’59 Sound’ from their 2008 album The ’59 Sound sees frontman Brian Fallon rearrange the vocal phrasings of the originals (which, if you’ve ever seen Gaslight live, will know is one of his favourite pastimes), converting the songs from spirited to introspective. ‘Boxer’ from 2010’s American Slang receives a calypso rewash, while the once-fun ‘The Queen Of Lower Chelsea’ from the same album is transformed into a slower, tenser version, more befitting the subtly sinister lyrics originally penned. A few cover versions are included as well. A live version of Pearl Jam’s ‘State Of Love And Trust’ could easily be mistaken for the original, with Fallon doing a damn fine Eddie Vedder impression.

 

With the songwriting talent that Gaslight possess, this LP leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed. The B-Sides is best left to the uber-fans and obsessives only.

 

3/5 stars

 

B-Sides out now on SideOneDummy/Shock.

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