CD Review: Brian Fallon “Painkillers”

Brian Fallon
Producer: Butch Walker
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Gaslight Anthem front-man Brian Fallon steps into the solo spotlight with his debut release titled “Painkillers”. The album which is being released via Island Records features 12 brand new tracks from the Springsteen esk front-man which were produced by Butch Walker (Weezer, Fall Out Boy).

Brain Fallon’s first attempt as a solo artist comes off completely genuine and harkens back to the singer/songwriter era of the early 60’s but with a modern twist. Tracks such as the albums opener “A Wonderful Life” and the title track “Painkillers” are similar enough to Fallon’s previous work with his band The Gaslight Anthem that they will appeal not only to long time fans but also usher in a new fan base for the charismatic singer. Other tracks worth mentioning are the gravelly voiced “Smoke” with its jangly guitars and sing-a-long choruses to the upbeat “Rosemary” which is one of the few songs on the album to feature electric guitar and provides a nice break up mid way through the album which is almost entirely acoustic. Along with Fallon the album features some great performances by Brian’s backing band consisting of Mark Stepro-drums, Catherie Popper-bass, Alex Rosamilia-piano, Josh Keller-pedal steel guitar and Butch Walker who along with his producer duties lends his hand playing a variety of different odds and ends instruments.

When a debut solo album comes out and is as strong as one such as “Painkillers” it makes me wonder if the artist left any ground to cover for future albums. With the diversity shown by Fallon and company that question was quickly answered as the album runs the gambit of music styles which will certainly help pave the way for future releases from the seasoned front man.

Track Listing:

1.) A Wonderful Life
2.) Painkillers
3.) Among Other Foolish Things
4.) Smoke
5.) Steve McQueen
6.) Nobody Wins
7.) Rosemary
8.) Red Lights
9.) Long Drives
10.) Honey Magnolia
11.) Mojo Hand
12.) Open All Night