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Album Review: Brian Fallon – ‘Sleepwalkers’

It was obvious to anyone listening to The Gaslight Anthem in 2007 that Brian Fallon was destined to not only make a name for himself in the punk scene but larger rock-centric circles. Sure enough, it was the release of The ‘59 Sound just a year later that cemented him, and the rest of The Gaslight Anthem, as the poster boy(s) for the scene-wide trend of blending a little bit of Americana rock and soul into basement drenched punk rock. (Is it still a trend if bands are still doing it ten years later?). Three Gaslight albums, a couple of side projects, and one solo album later, Brian Fallon isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Armed with his signature gravelly voice and broken heart, he’s heading into 2018 with his sophomore solo LP, Sleepwalkers.

Brian Fallon is nothing if not consistent and Sleepwalkers shouldn’t be full of surprises for anyone who has followed his career. For all of the experimentation found on Sleepwalkers, the album is still very decidedly a Brian Fallon album. Whether it’s the motown flavor of “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven,” the Strummer-esque reggae rock of “Come Wander With Me,” or even the rock and roll saxophone featured on the title track- these aren’t things that Fallon has put to tape before- it’s done with the same style and confidence that he does with straightforward rock tributes and acoustic ballads, both of which he’s done plenty in the past, and both of which make appearances on Sleepwalkers.

Lyrics have always been a blessing and a curse for Fallon. No stranger to heartbreak, he knows how to put fears and worries into a three minute song, which is greatly appreciated by the hopeless romantics (or, just the hopeless). “Oh my Lily, if you only knew, I only want to be haunted by you” he sings on “Her Majesty’s Service” while on lead single “Forget Me Not” he laments not “[taking] the time to miss you.” Of course, many are just as quick to roll their eyes at having so little sleeve covering his heart (“And most of my sad life I figured I was gonna die alone” from “Etta James”), and they’re even quicker to scoff at the sheer number of borrowed lyrics (some examples: “I never knew [my father] so I bandaged the hurt, I pretended my daddy was a bankrobber” and “an English song by a band that you love, here comes the sun little darling”). Whether these Fallon-isms sink or swim depends on the listener, but it’s clear that Fallon knows his strengths.

Sleepwalkers never takes any great leaps forward, but much like Painkillers, it is a worthy addition to Fallon’s discography by adding some sonic variety. Mostly, though, it provides 12 new songs to sing while putting a positive lens on past loves and regrets. And that’s what people listen to a Brian Fallon record for in the first place.

4 / 5

RIYL: Dave Hause, Ship Thieves, Counting Crows

Brian Fallon streams new song “My Name Is The Night (Color Me Black)”

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon is streaming another song off his upcoming solo album Sleepwalkers. The track’s called “My Name Is The Night (Color Me Black)”, and you can check it out below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours.

The Gaslight Anthem to play Governors Ball Festival

59 Sound Gaslight

The Gaslight Anthem have been on a slight hiatus for a few years, but have just announced they will be returning to the stage for the Governors Ball in New York City from June 1-3.

For a special celebration of their hit album The ’59 Sound‘s tenth birthday, the boys will be returning to the spotlight.

Scope out the festival’s full lineup here.

Brian Fallon streams new song “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven”

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon premiered another song off his upcoming album Sleepwalkers. You can listen to “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven” below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours next year.

Brian Fallon releases “Forget Me Not” video

The Gastlight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon has released a music video for the first single off his upcoming album Sleepwalkers. Check out the video for “Forget Me Not” below.

Sleepwalkers is set to release on February 9th, 2018 through Island Records. Fallon will be supporting the album with European and US tours next year.

Brian Fallon (folk) releases single “Forget Me Not” and announces tour

Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon has decided to follow up his 2016 solo album “Painkillers” with a new one “Sleepwalkers”. The first single off the new album is “Forget Me Not”. The album is due to be released February 9th on Island Records.

To celebrate the new album, Brian will head out on tour with his backing band The Howling Weather and will be supported on the tour by Dave Hause, Ruston Kelly and Caitlyn Rose.

You can check out the new single and tour dates below.

Brian Fallon recording with producer Ted Hutt

Former Gaslight Anthem front-man Brian Fallon has begun recording with producer, Ted Hutt, down in New Orleans! Anyone else excited for this!? You can check out his progress through his Instagram here

Fallon’s last project, Painkillers, was released on March 11, 2016 through Island Records. 

Fall Out Boy announce new album “Mania,” reveal new video for “Young and Menace”

Fall Out Boy have just announced their new album Mania, set for release on September 15th. This is their seventh studio album and the follow-up to 2015’s American Beauty/American Psycho.

A slew of tour dates have also been released, and you can find those below with the video for the single “Young and Menace.” Pre-order the album here.

Brian Fallon and the Crowes announce UK/Euro Tour W/ Chris Farren and Dead Swords

The story heading really says it all…

Brian Fallon and The Crowes will be heading to the UK and The European Union with Chris Farren and Dead Swords.

Check out the full list list of tour dates and the tour flyer below.

16/11 London UK-O2 Forum
17/11 Norwich UK-UEA
18/11 Cardiff UK-Uni Great Hall
19/11 Leeds UK-O2 Academy
20/11 Liverpool UK-O2 Academy
22/11 Glasgow UK-O2 Academy
23/11 Dublin, Ireland-Olympia Theatre
24/11 Oxford UK-O2 Academy
25/11 Newcastle UK-O2 Academy
26/11 Wolverhampton UK-Wulfrun Hall
27/11 Portsmouth UK-Pyramids Centre
29/11 Saarbrüken, DE-Garage
30/11 Stuttgart, DE-Longhorn
01/12 Frankfurt, DE-Batschkapp
02/12 Dortmund, DE-Visions Party
03/12 Bremen, DE-Schlachthof
04/12 Kiel, DE-Max
06/12 Oslo, Nor-Rockefeller
07/12 Gamla Stan, SE-Debaser
08/12 Goteborg, SE-Pusterviik
09/12 Malmö, SE-KB
10/12 Copenhagen, DK-Pumpehuset

DS Photo Gallery/Show Review: Brian Fallon and the Crowes, Boston, MA (3/11/16)

(All words by Gina Skidz; all photos by Jay Stone.)

I can’t start a review of anything related to Brian Fallon without the caveat that I am a huge fan of everything he’s done, from Gaslight Anthem to the Horrible Crowes, to his new music, which he plays under the name Brian Fallon and the Crowes.  I came into the show with great expectations (yeah, that pun was intended), and left feeling like Fallon has hit his mark, blending soulful Springteen-esque melodies with the Americana imagery that grabbed me in the early Gaslight days.

The show kicked off with opener Jared Hart, who made his name as frontman of New Jersey punk band The Scandals.  I’ve seen him play locally a bunch of times, so it was at once gratifying and terrifying to see someone I like so much up on the big stage at Boston’s Royale.  Jared did not disappoint, focusing on his new solo album, Past Lives & Pass Lines, and belting out a series of amazing songs.  Although he is based in Jersey, he’s a staple of the Boston punk scene, and part of the way through his set, he called out his friends in Boston’s Burning Streets, and some off-the-cuff banter broke up his otherwise focused set.  This was the first of two times we’d see Jared that night, as he now backs up Brian Fallon in the Crowes, playing guitar and creating some sweet vocal harmonies.  He stood out on his own on stage, but did a hell of a job supporting Fallon as well.

The second opener was Minneapolis indie/folk singer Austin Plaine.  Backed by a full band, he brought a country twang to the punk party as he performed songs off of his self-titled debut album.  If you want to get a feel for his sound, I think the best song I heard was “Houston,” a narrative-driven, upbeat song in the vein of  Kasey Anderson.

The crowd was pretty huge throughout the show, and both openers enjoyed a big crowd up front during their sets, but it seemed like the capacity quadrupled by the time Brian Fallon took the stage.  The floor was jammed front to back, and the upper balconies of this former theatre were packed, too.

Fallon kicked off his set on a sad and slow note, with “Last Rites,” an older song that was the intro to his debut album with the Horrible Crowes from back in 2011.  I developed a hard music crush on Fallon years ago, thanks in part to his engaging, humble attitude on stage, and this night was no different, as he launched into a story of the real origination of “Elsie,” which actually came from a British comedian’s routine, and joked that this wasn’t the sort of thing he’d ever bother telling Rolling Stone.  From there, the set heated up, with the new track “Nobody Wins,” followed by “Go Tell Everybody,” and “Painkillers.”  Three songs was about as far as Fallon could go without another story, as he joked about stopping at Newbury Comics and Boston-based t-shirt label Johnny Cupcakes earlier in the day, and being surprised to find neither records nor cupcakes.  “Who makes cds these days?  Apparently I do,” he bantered, as The Crowes’ Painkillers had just been released that day.

Before playing the creepy/sexy “Sugar,” he confirmed that the song is about being a pervert.  Ah, well, still a great song.  The set finished up with the new tracks “Honey Magnolia”  and “Steve McQueen,” and then Fallon let slip the cryptic and tantalizing fact that they always leave one good song off of each record (so, that means there should be 5 or 6 never-released gems out there at this point, right?!).  They then played “Hearts and Daggers,” which he plans to release on Record Store Day.

My only complaint was that Fallon’s set seemed to be rushed, and there was no encore.  This was no fault of theirs, however.  The venue unfortunately makes most of its money catering to the world of college girls and Eurotrash better known as electronica/EDM nights.  So the set ended and the crowd was rushed out, with bouncers even yelling at people who were still in line to buy merch. It’s lame, but that’s how it goes.

Brian Fallon, Jared Hart, and Austin Plaine are still on tour, and you can find the remaining schedule here, and check out the photo gallery below!

Video: Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem) does a cover of NOFX’s “Linoleum”

Well this is fun. At a show in Minneapolis yesterday Brian Fallon performed an acoustic cover of the classic NOFX tune “Linoleum”. Check out a video of it below.

Fallon is currently touring in support of his recent solo album “Painkillers,” out now through Island Records. Read our review of the album here.

Brian Fallon releases music video for “Painkillers”

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem has released a new music video for his song “Painkillers,” and you can check it out below.

The track is the title track from Fallon’s debut solo effort, Painkillers, which was released on March 11, 2016 through Island Records. You can read our review of the album here.

Album Review: Brian Fallon – ‘Painkillers’

In 2009, right after The Gaslight Anthem had first begun to make their name known, there were rumors that front-man Brian Fallon would be recording a solo album. Fallon was quick to dismiss the rumors as nothing more but rumors. Which was fine because at the time the scene had become oversaturated with punk singers going rogue equipped with nothing but an acoustic guitar. Flash forward to the present: Here we are in 2016. The Gaslight Anthem is currently on hold and the scene has become more rounded out with full lineup solo projects, and Painkillers, Brian Fallon’s debut solo album, is now more than just some rumor fueled by the NY Times.

Let’s get right into it: Painkillers is the quintessential Brian Fallon record. This isn’t up for debate, nor is it a positive or negative statement. It’s just simply the most Brian Fallon record to date. Over the past decade, everyone has been quick to point out, both as praise and as criticism, that Fallon’s songwriting style is filled with the same themes and influences. Even when The Gaslight Anthem began to stray away what skyrocketed them to popularity, ever so slightly on 2012’s Handwritten but particularly on 2014’s Get Hurt, Fallon still couldn’t escape the shadows cast by Maria, radios, and classic cars. On Painkillers, Fallon uses those specific clichés sparingly (Maria and her radio are absent here, but there are mentions of Cadillacs in album closer “Open All Night”), but he sure as hell doesn’t shy away from waxing poetic. Is there a songwriter today that romanticizes the past more than Brian Fallon? Probably not. Whether this is a good or a bad thing remains entirely up to the listener.

That said, Painkillers isn’t just a carbon copy of any of Fallon’s other bands, and it’s not some album that could have been released by The Gaslight Anthem at another point in their career. Perhaps due to working with producer Butch Walker, the songs here are primarily built upon acoustic chord progressions, with everything else being wrapped around them. There are soft layers of twangy guitars mixed throughout the album adding an Americana flavor to the album and aiding the album to find its own identity. And while there’s an energy here, it’s a far cry from The ‘59 Sound. The album is at its most upbeat during lead single “A Wonderful Life,” “Rosemary” (the verses of which recall Frank Turner’s “Josephine,” from last year’s Positive Songs for Negative People, also produced by Walker) and the jaunty “Mojo Hand” (which is sure to raise some eyebrows due to its disruptive nature on the track list). Painkillers definitely sounds like a Brian Fallon album, but hardly like an album he’s made before.

Maybe, even though he’s expanded to sprinkling references to James Brown (“Honey Magnolia), Rites of Spring (“Long Drives,” heavily re-worked since its release as a Molly and the Zombies song), and The Beatles (“Among Other Foolish Things”) in his work, Fallon does have a distinct writing style that leans heavily on the same subject matters. And maybe he does take his cues from all the same places, as homages to Petty (“Nobody Wins”) and The Boss (the aforementioned “Open All Night” isn’t a cover, but there’s no way that title wasn’t intentional). But so what? Much like Elsie, Fallon’s solo outing has its subtle differences that distinguish it from the rest. Painkillers is a project that can be seen as a companion to his previous works, but it can just as well stand on its own.

4 / 5

RIYL: Chuck Ragan, Ryan Adams, Frank Turner

Brian Fallon releases music video for “Nobody Wins”

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem has released a new music video for his song “Nobody Wins,” and you can check it out below.

The track is taken from Fallon’s debut solo album Painkillers, which is set to release on March 11th through Island Records.

Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem) streams “Steve McQueen” off upcoming solo album “Painkillers”

Brian Fallon, front man of The Gaslight Anthem (also The Horrible Crows and Molly and the Zombies) is streaming “Steve McQueen”, a brand new song off his upcoming solo album, “Painkillers”. Check it out below.

“Painkillers” is set to drop March 11th via Island Records.

For those of you who may have missed it, Gaslight Anthem announced they were going on hiatus last July.