American Slang

Album: American Slang (2010)


  • This is the lead single and title track from New Jersey based rock group The Gaslight Anthem's third studio album.
  • On the band's previous releases frontman/guitarist and songwriter Brian Fallon famously quoted such influences as Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. On American Slang the only obvious lift is on this song, where he uses the phrase "cut you to ribbons," which was also featured on 'Here's Looking at You, Kid' from Gaslight Anthem's 2008 album The '59 Sound. "People instantly said, 'You quoted yourself from the last record on the chorus. Is that your thing, quoting yourself?'" Fallon told Spinner UK with some exasperation. "That's totally by accident. If I say the word 'pizza' twice in a week, sometimes it happens, you know?"
  • Fallon told Spinner UK he was hesitant to use the song title. "You call something American anything you better have something to back that up with," he said. "It's like an English band calling a song English something, you have a big thing to live up to. The song is kind of about my American life, about the things that have happened. They present you this American dream and it's not like this specific thing, you find out you just have to work. You don't step outside and get famous, that's not the way it goes. It's like that anywhere else in the world."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Dave Edmunds

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."