Back in July of 2015, The Gaslight Anthem announced an indefinite hiatus, but front man Brian Fallon has released his much anticipated first solo record PainKillers. So, pour yourself another cup of diner coffee and spin the record to no end. The Gaslight Anthem and The Horrible Crowes, reminisce of a nostalgic era before our time- our past generation. However, Painkillers offers an even deeper connection to the romanticized notion of the 1950s and 60s. I love the fearlessness Brian Fallon has of an open, vulnerable heart. With distinct references to the King of Cool, it is no wonder you picture ray bans and a lit cigarette in hand when tuning into the tracks- the movie star façade of a timeless era. I arrive at this line a lot, “I always dreamed in classic cars and movie screens” a line ripped from the track Old White Lincoln. Fallon’s songs are an ode to the past, and to his past as well which fans really felt on the Gaslight Anthem’s last LP Get Hurt. He paints a picture we’ve all wanted to be a part of at some point in our life. Maybe you once were there, now digging up the past or maybe you are there now. But, I feel as though with his tracks, the reality of stepping out of a classic car as Katharine Hepburn or Ingrid Bergman accompanied by a dashing man, is not a far cry from the truth, or so it seems. While Painkillers is more melancholy than The Gaslight Anthem, all the records hold so much weight in their words and execution. But with this particular record, we know fully that this is a beautiful representation of himself as a solo artist. While some of the fantasized feelings derive from an era none of us can relive- we constantly tune in to Mr. Fallon for the shining hope that those same values can be found in present day. We want a life like we saw on the picture show, we want Brian Fallon to keep singing us tunes in his notable raspy voice to remind us of a golden age.
Here is my favourite track off the record: