We’ve been listening to Brian Fallon‘s Painkillers on repeat and here, pick out five songs we’re most looking forward to hearing live.
Just a few months ago we couldn’t wait for it to be April so we could finally check out what Brian Fallon’s solo adventures were all about. His UK leg of the tour kicks off on 5 April at Manchester’s O2 Ritz with The Crowes in tow and a new, exciting step in his career to tag along.
1. A Wonderful Life
A Wonderful Life is the first track to be released off the new album. With its Springsteen-esque intro (give Badlands a listen, and you’ll get the idea) and a hint of The Gaslight Anthem’s American Slang record it’s the perfect transition for Gaslight fans to Brian’s solo album. It’s americana mixed with a hint of country and lots of long-lost Fallon enthusiasm about life. After The Gaslight Anthem’s last album, which gained divisive reactions by critics all around and walked on the darker side of life, A Wonderful Life is full of positive views and hopes for the future and about the fact that life is, indeed, wonderful. This song also packs all the potential for huge crowd sing-alongs at the upcoming UK shows.
2. Nobody Wins
This track is the second official release and a smashing one at that. Sing-along potential, check. But note, its poetic lyrics are so much sadder than the tune gives the impression to be. The sound rolls along the lines of A Wonderful Life, the words, however, describe a sad story of a love that had to end too soon. Truly heart-wrenching but somehow, not without hope it seems. It’s a definite winner in our books, and we’ll be humming “Hey, hey little tommy gun, I guess we’re never gonna end up the lucky ones” all the way into April.
3. Honey Magnolia
Admittedly, an absolute personal favourite from Painkillers. In fact, an overall Brian Fallon favourite. Starting with the beautiful piano intro, followed on by a softly sung declaration of “you have no idea what you’re missing” from a girl’s point of view. Listening closer, it could well be a follow up to The Gaslight Anthem’s Here Comes My Man. Not necessarily musically, but definitely lyrically. Musically, this tune is all kinds of harmonic and has a taste of something that is used for movie soundtracks – imagine someone driving off into the night after telling the boy they loved they’ll never know how good it all could have been, then cue Honey Magnolia.
4. Steve Mc Queen
It may be the fascination with old school Hollywood and Brian’s silver screen hero, but Steve McQueen’s dreamy guitar riffs has us drifting off into British racing greens with the New Jersey native. The song first premiered at last year’s Newport Folks Festival and we were hoping it would make it onto the new album – boy were we lucky! Steve McQueen is the ultimate bonfire ballad on the album. Its overall country-style is stonewashed with Brian’s husky rock vocals. Plus, he sings about Britain, kind of, and how can we not like that?
Rosemary, much like A Wonderful Life, is the perfect combination of Brian’s new solo path and good old The Gaslight Anthem Days. Its hint of Gaslight’s Handwritten record and electric guitar riffs make it an absolute tune, and if you were to pick one song to introduce Brian Fallon to one of your friends, this is it. Rosemary, a bit like Honey Magnolia, could be Here Comes My Man’s little sister. A sassy statement from a girl’s point of view, “My name is Rosemary, you’d be lucky to meet me”, infused with a nostalgic look back on the good old times. It’s true Brian Fallon style and definitely more on the rocky side of the album. More of this please!
With Painkillers, Fallon has proven his walk on the singer-songwriter side of life has worked out just beautifully. The album also contains a few Molly And The Zombies tracks, one of Fallon’s early side projects and a treasure of hardcore Fallon fans.
Whatever tracks make it into his live show, you can guarantee Brian Fallon is going to flourish when he performs Painkillers in the UK.
Don’t miss out on the few remaining tickets available for some of Brian Fallon’s UK shows this April:
5 – Manchester, O2 Ritz
6 – Glasgow, O2 ABC
7 – Birmingham, O2 Institute
8 – London, KOKO
9 – Nottingham, Rock City
Check availability and book Brian Fallon tickets now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.