Published Jan 27, 2014First things first: there is very little point to this collection of B-sides from New Jersey rockers the Gaslight Anthem. Essentially a pared down version of last year's singles box set — minus the singles, of course, and with a couple of additional tracks — it brings together acoustic takes on old favourites, a handful of covers and a muddy live cut. Completists already have all of the above — it's pretty widely available — and curious casual listeners have likely tracked down the acoustic takes on YouTube (there are thousands of them).
Still, once you get past the affair's general cash-grab feeling, there are a handful of gems to be found. "She Loves You" is the clear standout, beginning as a choral hummer and building into a powerful beer-hall sing-along. A stutter-step "'59 Sound" ups the emotional ante of the original; ditto the sparse "Great Expectations" and a rearranged "The Queen of Lower Chelsea." So that's something. (Side One Dummy)