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AAA Music | 23 October 2019

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The Gaslight Anthem – The Diamond Church Street Choir/Boxer

| On 07, Aug 2010

Now, despite my gothic dalliances, I am strongly attached to The Gaslight Anthem’s music. And so when I first heard ‘The Diamond Church Street Choir’, to find myself being the one in the corner raising their hand and saying: “I don’t get it” was a strange experience. This song, incidentally, is their latest single. I’ll come out immediately and say that possibly what puts me off here is the finger-clicks. Although it helps set the mood and lightens the tone as this is indeed a good-times song, I can’t help but feel it is a bit cheesy, and mars what is otherwise a well-written, catchy song that really shows off The Gaslight Anthem’s progress as musicians.  Fallon’s vocals are passionate as ever, and the hop-skip rhythm in both the punk-edged drumming and the bright guitars is a great development, but parts of it just keep me from being totally converted to the studio version: the clicks, and the squeaky-clean production make it feel a little too throwaway pop for me. However, live it is a powerful, uplifting song and so my conclusion is that while the studio version is uneven yet good, the only thing that really shows the song in full potential is to hear it played live.

‘Boxer’, a track that I felt was one of the stronger songs on their new album, as its use of dynamic variation (the intro-verse transition being the best example) topped off with their musicianship on its best form, and the lyrics pouring straight from the heart. This track is indeed the band in one of their finest moments, which is a truly phenomenal power to be reckoned with.

Author: Katie H-Halinski