Brian Fallon – Painkillers

Time to talk about music again! On my old blog, I used to review records that I absolutely love, and I intend to keep up with this tradition – might even import some older reviews in here, would be a shame to let them go to waste.

On today’s menu: Painkillers by Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. Now, before I go on, I have to thank my friend Kathi for introducing me to his voice – where have I been?! I think the conversation we had went a little like this “Oh, so you love Springsteen yeah?”“He’s literally the boss, I have a lot of feelings about Bruce”“Then you’re gonna love Brian!”“Who’s that?” … then she kindly put together a playlist of her favourite The Gaslight Anthem, The Horrible Crowes (another side-project I’ve learned) and Brian Fallon songs for me and the rest is history.

That was maybe two months ago, and since then I’ve been playing Painkillers – Brian’s solo debut – to death. Talk about a perfect record! And Kathi was right, of course – the Springsteen influence is very audible, and I love it. There’s just something about the whole Americana theme with all its whimsical ideas about freedom, love, rebellion and whatnot that really appeals to me.

Cause this life is only chains // It’s nothing like the colours in my dreams – Steve McQueen

The first time I heard Smoke, it blew my mind – at that time, it was exactly the kind of song I wanted to listen to, and it hasn’t changed. And then I listened to Steve McQueen, which is next on the tracklist, and Brian had me – I love a singer/songwriter who can do upbeat as well as introspective and ballad-esque.

When you change too much, you lose yourself // And sometimes you just can’t get them back – Red Lights

I feel like Painkillers is one of those records that I could listen to no matter what mood I’m in, it just works. My favourite tracks? Probably Smoke, Steve McQueen, Red Lights, Honey Magnolia and Mojo Hand (last one though, what a freaking tune – always gets me in a super good mood!).

And I’ll be the one to let you know the sweet taste is gone // And it’s over, honey magnolia – Honey Magnolia

On a slightly different note, I had the privilege to see Brian and The Horrible Crowes perform in what is probably my favourite venue in Vienna, and it was just perfect. What a great personality! I remember him joking around charging a fee for him just coming on stage chatting to his audience next, and honestly I’d probably pay for that, too.

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