Handwritten (International Version)
Label: Virgin Emi
Indie kids don't embrace The Gaslight Anthem the way they do The Hold Steady. Oh well -- that's their loss. These greasers craft tunes bursting with youthful sincerity and sing-along howls to the moon. Handwritten's lead single "45" is straight aces: blossom jangle grafted to punky anthem rock that's as reminiscent of The Misfits as it is Social D. "Desire," on the other hand, channels Springsteen's white-aerobic-sneaks-and-denim phase. This shouldn't surprise; after all, Jersey flows through the band's veins. The album closes with "National Anthem," but it's not that national anthem, FYI.