The Gaslight Anthem
Señor and the Queen



by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
June 17th, 2008 | 21 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

For many bands the first album is the easiest to write. You have your whole life to write it and perfect your style. On follow up releases however, there can be a great deal of pressure on you to perform well and time restraints and heavy touring schedules can get in the way of writing. There is even more pressure on a band when their debut album is as good as The Gaslight Anthem’s ‘Sink or Swim’. Released 10 months before the ‘Senor and the Queen’ EP hit shelves, their debut was simply fantastic and saw them become the band to namedrop in the punk scene. The success of the album though, bred very high expectations for the second album ‘The ’59 Sound’ which is scheduled for release in August. ‘Senor and The Queen’ could be perceived as a studio report of sorts, as the EP was released right in the middle of the recording process.

Generally speaking, ‘Senor and the Queen’ is very much in the same vein as their debut, only their optimistic brand of bluesy, folksy punk is even brighter than before and the energy levels are slightly toned down. However, that’s not to say that it is dull or lethargic though. Album opener and title track, ‘Senor and the Queen’ is brimming with fist-pumping energy and though it burns out perhaps a little too fast, it is a very positive sign of things to come not only the EP but hopefully on their forthcoming album. The last track here, ‘Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts’ is in direct contrast as it is the most laid-back, beautiful song they have written. It is essentially a country-influenced song, but the twinkling, ambient electric guitars transform the song into something much more dramatic. As Fallon croons “I’ll love you forever if I ever love at all”, backed up by beautiful, soothing female accompaniment you can really feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Simply beautiful.

While these two are two of the best songs that they have ever written the mid-section of the EP is less enjoyable and memorable. TGA bring the party with the upbeat punk-rock stylings of ‘Say I Won’t (Recognize)’ and while its infectious, danceable energy and song-writing (the tempo change in the middle of the song is genius!) its lyrics are, at best, cringe worthy. “We’re having a party, everybody’s swinging…” may be relevant because of the buoyant nature of the song, but seriously, that’s just plain uninspired. ‘Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?’ strongly resembles one of the better songs off of ‘Sink or Swim’ in ‘I’da Called You Woody, Joe’ only it is much more restrained and just nowhere near as good. There is not a whole lot wrong with it to be quite honest, but the band have set themselves high standards and the only problem with the track is that it is a little too ‘punk by numbers’ to be anything more than good.

Anyone that heard The Gaslight Anthem’s debut will most likely have very high expectations for this EP but their also their new album. It is unlikely that they will be able to recreate ‘Sink or Swim’ quality-wise but damn it, they’re doing the best they can, and the best is damn good! Half of the songs here are simply excellent and are just as good as, if not better than anything off of ‘Sink or Swim’; the other two songs are still good, just nothing special. The band really kept it short and sweet as ‘Senor and the Queen’ clocks in at a lean eleven-and-a-half minutes, but there is hardly a wasted second during this time. The EP is as varied as it should be and is proficient in both high-energy, folk rock tinged party punk and beautiful folk/country songs. If we assume that The Gaslight Anthem improve from this, even slightly, then their new album, ‘The ’59 Sound’, due August, is shaping up to be one of the punk albums of the year.

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user ratings (245)
other reviews of this album
NothingForSomething (4)
The perfect precursor, or plain self-discovery?...

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 25th 2008


theres no way that this can have had 6300 comments! thats just plain silly. any thoughts on this ep. its growing on me even more at the moment. i love this band!This Message Edited On 06.25.08

July 8th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm seeing them again in August. =] This is a great EP and this band is already one of my favorites after only listening to them for a few months.

July 16th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

This EP is definitely better than Sink or Swim. The title track is weak, but the next three are all nearly perfect. Sink or Swim is mostly solid tracks, but has very few standouts.

September 11th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

Didnt really like this EP, I thought the songs were too short and too lightweight.

November 30th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

Blue Jeans and a White T-shirt is one of my favorite songs ever. I would have givin this ep a 5, but it is sort of short. although these 4 songs are all amazing.

Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

‘Senor and the Queen’ is a 4 track, 11 minute EP by New Jersey quartet The Gaslight Anthem, which effectively bridges the gap between their debut LP ‘Sink or Swim’ & eventual follow-up ‘The ’59 Sound’. Beginning with the punky, upbeat title track (which would have fit perfectly on their debut), the EP progresses to more mid-tempo tracks that play around with tempo switches & song structures. Encouragingly, the best is left until last with the gorgeous & gentle ‘Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts’ allowing the raspy vocals of Brian Fallon to fully take advantage of his impressive Americana-soaked lyrics. Recommended Tracks: Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts and Say I Won’t (Recognize).

September 29th 2010


Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts is so good

October 1st 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

So we sing with our heroes 33 rounds per minute

October 7th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

lovelovelove blue jeans & white t-shirts

Digging: The Pharcyde - Labcabincalifornia

October 7th 2010


I really dug SOS when it first came out, but this EP is what sold me on the band.

also lol posting on the same page as joe/intransit.

October 8th 2010


is "Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts" their best song ever. maybe.

October 11th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

It damn well could be.

November 21st 2010


Band is amazing on so many levels

November 26th 2010


blue jeans and white t-shirts is already in my top 30 songs ever.

This is my fav work by them so far.

May 28th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

So I just got this, and I have to agree, Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts very well may be the best Gaslight Anthem song.

July 30th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Wherefore art thou, Elvis?

Good God, the memories of that song. I was still in High School, and everytime I felt down I would spin it. Really got me into the blues. Kind of got me into feeling depressed for awhile. But still, I look back now and that track is great. Don't get me wrong, the rest are amazing.

But I play that track and I feel the fucking rain, I can smell the wet mud and grass, and I can see the pitch black mixed with purple skies, walking away from my girlfriends (ex, right after) house for the very last time in my life. I can taste that bitterness on the back of my tongue, feel my wet cigarette as I take a very dense drag from the soaking wet tobacco.

Wow. High School, eh? What else can do that to your memories. All in a fucking song.

February 11th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0


February 11th 2012


Look at that accent over the n how exotic!

Digging: In Flames - Clayman

November 9th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Still we sing with our heroes thirty-three rounds per minute,

We're never going home until the sun says we're finished

May 29th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Every time I listen to Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts, I'm convinced it's the greatest song ever.

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