Springsteen 2.0: Can Baby Bosses Cruise The Backstreets?

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Daniel Kramer
This fall, Houstonians salivating for another touring run by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band don't have to search to hard to find bands heavily influenced by the man's sound and work ethic. Even though Springsteen and his merry band of musicians may be cooling their road heels for the next year or so, that doesn't mean you have to go hungry.

One of the most prominent bands today with the Springsteen sound is the Gaslight Anthem, and they will be headlining what looks like a nearly sold-out show Thursday night at Warehouse Live. The band's last two albums, 2008's The '59 Sound and this year's American Slang, are both steeped in Jersey exhaust and sweat.

We compiled a list of some bands who have dipped into the stream to swig off the man's sound, be it lyrically, musically or stylistically. White T-shirts and blue jeans are still pretty cool.

The Gaslight Anthem: Of all the younger bands out today, the one that garners the most kudos for sounding like Bruce Springsteen while not sucking at it is The Gaslight Anthem. Rocks Off didn't hop on the TGA train until we heard "Miles Davis & The Cool" sometime in late 2008, and then we snagged their earlier, rougher stuff. The band hails from the same New Jersey as Springsteen, making them a veritable legacy band.

Fake Problems: There's a point on the end of Fake Problem's 2008 track "Dream Team" when the band has a full on Boss breakdown, total "Born To Run" stuff. When you hear it live, you get goosebumps. Even at the Warped Tour.

Lucero: Lucero always had Springsteen's lyrical bent down but on their last album, 1372 Overton Park, they added brass to the mix, courtesy of a few Honeybears from Austin. The ramshackle characters in lead singer Ben Nichols' songs became almost heroic with the hot injection of soul.

The Hold Steady: This band's Separation Sunday was a sort of Born in The U.S.A. for hoodrats and bar dwellers. Lead singer Craig Finn knows how to pack syllables and kiss-offs into his lyrics like no other. He tells stories worthy of the big screen, much like our friend from Jersey.

Against Me!: Before TGA was doing it, Against Me's Tom Gabel was making drastic moves toward Boss-like territory. Where TGA's Brian Fallon has Bruce's honeyed growl, Gabel's voice is much more grizzled, and he has the protest bent in spades. To hear maximum Boss-y Gabel, pick up his solo EP Conceptual Paths.

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