Bruce Springsteen is a man who needs no introduction: throughout his five-decade long career, he’s released 18 studio albums, won 20 Grammys—and has sold nearly 65 million records in the US alone.
Even though the Boss’s discography is an enormous, shape-shifting beast, sometimes its not enough; sometimes you greedily crave more than the Boss can given you. Perhaps you’re looking for a darker take on Darkness on the Edge of Town, or perhaps you’re aching for a modernized Born to Run. Either way, you’re in luck: a lot of kids kicking around in bands today were raised on Bruce’s best stuff.
Here are a few you just might like.
The Gaslight Anthem:
The Gaslight Anthem is four dudes from Jersey who not only idolize Bruce, but have actually opened for him. Their ties to Springsteen mostly lie in band leader Brian Fallon’s lyrics, which claw for lost youth and faded lovers—even though they’re probably too young to have earned that right. Musically they’re a tad heavier than Bruce’s biggest anthems, but the two artists’ spirits ride on the same highway. Their 2010 album American Slang is a great place to start.
The Hold Steady:
The Hold Steady is a Brooklyn group that hails from the Minneapolis bar band scene. They’re well versed in catchy riffs, epic piano solos and lyrics that hail a unified scene. Lead singer Craig Finn shouts and speaks more than he sings, but his enthusiasm for his words, for his band—and for music in general—allow him to pull his style off with, well, style. The Hold Steady’s 2006 album Boys and Girls in America riffs off of Kerouac’s On the Road and Springsteen’s Born to Run at an equal rate, and is a fantastic jumping off point.
Arcade Fire have recently shifted into dance-friendly territory with Reflektor, but just a few years back they proudly wore Springsteen’s influence on their sleeve. This is especially apparent on anthems like “Keep the Car Running” and “(Antichrist Television Blues),” two standouts from Neon Bible. The Boss himself even joined Arcade Fire onstage for “Keep the Car Running” at a gig in Ottawa in 2007, a performance which you can (and should) catch below.
Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.