Like a lot of people my age I grew up a Springsteen fan in the late 70’s which led me to check out The Gaslight Anthem after reading all the hype/praise/reviews of The ’59 Sound. I liked it but have to admit I didn’t get all that much of a Springsteen vibe. I kind of put that one back in the rack for a good long time and moved on to other sounds. When American Slang came out I grabbed a promo from my local indie and gave it a spin. I started to really like it and revisited ’59 Sound which I was also really ended up enjoying. I think that then, as now, I miss Rock & Roll. There just isn’t really any being released (that appeals to me) over the past decade or two. Gaslight is one of the few bands that “worked” for me. Unfortunately the next two releases weren’t quite up to par and I lost interest again.
Lead singer/songwriter Brian Fallon’s second solo record Sleepwalkers has been getting a few spins around here over the past week and I have to say I am enjoying it quite a bit. His sound has matured as has his songwriting. We all get older…there’s no way around that. What separates the good songwriters from the simply mediocre is how they deal with it. Brian Fallon gets kudos for tackling some of the issues that come with no longer being young. Check out Proof of Life for this new maturity.
The sound on Sleepwalkers is familiar, but a little more varied and less frantic, than Gaslight. His style is unmistakable but you can hear more influences in the music. If Your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven sounds like you would expect Brian Fallon to sound but the Sleepwalkers, Neptune and Watson are just different enough to catch the ear and stay there a bit.
The last track is See You On The Other Side tackles similar themes of love and eventual loss as Jason Isbell’s If We Were Vampires and, while not in the same league as that song, is a mature statement that can only come with age.
Brian Fallon’s Sleepwalkers is worth your time.