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The band managed to secure enough down time between tour dates to record a four-song EP, Señor and the Queen, in Austin. The EP appeared in early 2008, as did an offer to join the roster of the California-based indie label SideOneDummy Records. The Gaslight Anthem signed with SideOneDummy and released their sophomore effort, The '59 Sound, later that year. Featuring a rough, rousing sound that took its cues from Social Distortion's melodic punk and Bruce Springsteen's heartland rock, the album found an audience not only in America -- where eMusic deemed it the number one record of 2008 -- but also in Europe, where Bruce Springsteen joined the musicians during their set at the 2009 Glastonbury festival. Following the Glastonbury performance, sales of The '59 Sound grew by 200%, whetting the public's demand for a follow-up.
The Gaslight Anthem rounded out the year by playing additional festivals -- including Lollapalooza, Pinkpop, Reading, and Leeds -- before returning to the studio in early 2010. Working again with Ted Hutt, the same producer who helped them shape The '59 Sound, the bandmates wrote and recorded the songs that eventually comprised their third album, American Slang.