Next up to talk about one of their favourite albums (of all time) is our Press Office Manager, Daniel Lynch.
Daniel is famous in these parts for his eclectic taste in music – everything from Status Quo to Ryan Adams could be on the list, so we’re interested to see which album he picks. If he gets through this article without mentioning Brian Fallon (I know, we’d never heard of him either) then it would be highly surprising…
Over to you, Daniel.
This has given me sleepless nights.
First I considered picking Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, but I thought this was straying dangerously close to Alan Partridge territory of citing a Greatest Hits album as my favourite.
Then it was down to what makes any given album my favourite. 14-year-old me was screaming for Master of Puppets or The Number of the Beast, while the version of me working its way through this week has been listening to Ryan Adams pretty incessantly, so Prisoner and Adams’ eponymous album were strong contenders.
For my favourite album of all time though, it has to be an album that I always come back to, one that is a default “go-to” album in the car, on my iPod or around the house. One that fits any mood I’m in at any time of the day or night.
The one album that ticks that box for me more than any other is Sink Or Swim by the Gaslight Anthem.
It’s their first album and most punk sounding record, but it’s the earliest indication of what a great lyricist Brian Fallon is.
Although the songs on Sink Or Swim are typically fast, heavy and upbeat they’re equally potent and arguably even better when stripped back to Fallon solo with his acoustic guitar. 1930 is the best example of this if you compare the two versions.
Fallon’s lyrics and music developed over the next four Gaslight albums and peaked with side project The Horrible Crowes’ on the album Elsie, but it all starts at Sink Or Swim.
Until I listened to Fallon I listened to albums and musicians for their guitar work. Musically the Gaslight Anthem aren’t exactly cutting edge. They never claimed to be, but if the band is Swansea in 2013, Fallon is their Michu. His raw and personal writing is what won the band a small but dedicated following.
Sink Or Swim is the album that swung me from listening to guitars on albums towards listening to lyrics and the way songs are constructed, so it’s had a big influence on my own music.
If you want to listen to Brian Fallon listen to his solo album Painkillers or Gaslight’s ’59 Sound and then go back and listen to Sink Or Swim. Then work your way back up to Elsie. Focus on the lyrics and how every song is delivered. You’ll not regret it.