Released: Aug 12, 2014
Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
Not a game-changer, but an album full of solid rock songs that are vaguely reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.
Get HurtFeatured review by: UG Team, on august 12, 2014 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Gaslight Anthem formed in 2006, when at the time they were going by the name This Charming Man, but changed their name and musical direction. Initially their sound had evident punk influences, but over time their sound has become more "blue collar" rock music. "Get Hurt" is the band's fifth studio album, following the release of their compilation album "The B-Sides" earlier this year. The "Deluxe Edition" of the album contains 16 tracks and clocks in at approximately 55 minutes (the standard edition has 12 tracks and is around 40 minutes). They released "Rollin' and Tumblin'" as their lead single in early July. It was soon followed by the second and third singles from the album, "Get Hurt," and "Stay Vicious."
The album opens up with the single, "Stay Vicious," which is a little bit harder than what you may be used to from The Gaslight Anthem, and from here they utilize a lot of quiet/loud dynamics. "1,000 Years" is next, and this track definitely has my favorite bass line, as well as my favorite lyric with "I heard about a woman, once, who did everything ever asked of her. She died last week and her last words were 'It wasn't worth it.'" The single, "Get Hurt," has a kind of plaintive and melancholy vibe to it. "Stray Paper" has a really strong Bruce Springsteen thing going on with it. "Helter Skeleton" is another track that uses the quiet/loud dynamics, and it also subtly utilizes a few stylistic elements from some '50s and '60s era rock. "Underneath the Ground" has an almost fake-sounding drum part, and uses a simple melody for a lot of the track. "Rollin' and Tumblin'" has an intro that would fit on a Black Keys album, but when it gets into the meat of the song it does something a little bit different. "Red Violins" makes me want to tap my foot, but it is also another track that reminds me strongly of Bruce Springsteen. "Selected Poems" has a nostalgic vibe to it, and feels like a sing-along type of song. "Ain't That a Shame" has an intro kind of like something that Black Keys would do, once again, but it quickly turns into a more straightforward rock song. "Break Your Heart" has an intro that reminds me of Green Day and "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty. The (standard edition) album closes out with the track "Dark Places" which opens with a voice only, which slowly fades in until the instrumentation crashes into the track and the vocals go up to full volume. "Sweet Morphine" is the first of the bonus tracks, and it sounds like a country folk song with some slightly heavier instrumentation. "Mama's Boys" is the next bonus track, which has an acoustic guitar and a harmonica in the intro, but later in the song it gets a few more layers. "Halloween" is another bonus track, and honestly it has a kind of Modest Mouse vibe to it, and is probably my favorite track on the album. The bonus songs close out with "Have Mercy," which makes a lot of use of reverb and delay with the vocals and guitar. // 8
Lyrics: Brian Fallon at times mimics two of his self-stated greatest influences when doing vocals - Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. This isn't a bad thing, as they're both great vocalists in their own right. Still, the brief moments when Brian's character comes through his vocals (instead of mimicking his idols) is when he really shines. A good example would be on the track "Dark Places." The rest of the band provides backing vocals, and they do a respectable job on that front. The lyrics run the gamut a little bit in quality, but for the most part are the standard type of rock song subjects.
As a sample of the lyrics from the album, here are lyrics from the second single and title track, "Get Hurt": "Sometimes I wake up in the morning/ sometimes I dream some more/ I keep my wounds without a bandage/ baby, as I come stumbling through the door/ spent my nights in this location/ talking to spirits on the floor/ I think I came to find the feeling, baby/ between what was mine and what was yours/ and I came to get hurt/ might as well do your worst to me/ have you come here to get hurt/ have you come to take her away from me/ from me, from me/ might as well do your worst to me/ I think I'm gonna move to California/ I can start to love/ Momma can you say a prayer for me/ say a prayer for me/ I heard they don't get so low-down/ I heard they never bleed/ not like we bleed." // 7
Overall Impression: I go back and forth with how I feel about The Gaslight Anthem, but at the end of the day you have to respect that they're talented songwriters. This isn't a totally new approach that The Gaslight Anthem had promised about this album when they were in the studio, but it isn't a carbon copy of their previous releases, either. My favorite track would be "Halloween," which is a bonus track from the deluxe edition, and otherwise the album is pretty solid for listening from beginning to end so I have no "least favorite" track. // 8
Bozjoarmstrong, on august 25, 2014 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've reviewed every Gaslight Anthem album since 2008 for this site, and this is certainly the one I've been most surprised by. The New Jersey boys could have been forgiven for simply repeating Handwritten, the album that's brought them as close to a mainstream following as they've ever been. But that's wouldn't be the Gaslight way. Credit to them, they have taken their sound in a completely different direction. The rock n' roll bombast is not totally absent, but it's certainly not centre stag for this record; this is a record of subdued choruses, textural guitars and keys - yes, keys.
I know this album will be very upsetting for many long-time Gaslight fans, as the punk element of their earlier work is all-but disappeared. Equally, this will be the first Gaslight record where people can't possibly draw comparisons to a certain other New Jersey legend.
With "Stay Vicious," a heavy, slow, brooding riff ushers the album in, before switching to a light, mid-tempo chorus. This juxtaposition makes for a difficult listen the first few times, and is typical of the experimental nature of the album. Things are somewhat brought back to normality straight away by "1,000 Years," the only song here that vaguely resembles their biggest hit to date, "45." A cool riff, bouncy verse (led by a superb bassline) and a catchy, anthemic chorus make this an immediate standout track.
The mood switches again with the low-key, pain-infused title track, and the unusual, chorus-less "Stray Paper." "Helter Skeleton" is not dissimilar to the album's opener in structure, but is far more up-tempo and closer to the classic Gaslight sound, making for another highlight. "Underneath the Ground," however, is a standout track for quite different reasons. With a sound that will inevitably draw comparisons to Brian Fallon's side project, The Horrible Crowes, this intricately layered, subdued effort allows Fallon to bare his soul, in a way that is difficult to listen to, but all the more beautiful for it. "Rollin and Tumblin'" has to be the easiest listen here, though - a pretty straightforward Gaslight number and a pleasant break from the darker mood of the album.
The following tracks, "Red Violins" and "Selected Poems," bring that mood back with a vengeance, though. Their driven, pounding choruses bring to mind the angrier tracks from "American Slang." By the time we reach "Ain't That a Shame," one can't help but wonder how many ways there are to recycle 4 chords; it is only the lyrics that prevent this one from becoming dull. This could certainly not be said of "Break Your Heart," which may well be the best song here. It's quiet, haunting, beautiful and soul-baring; even the most hardened listener will feel shivers down their spine.
"Dark Places" is then the perfect end to the album; it comes across as a more mature version of the fan favourite "The Backseat," delightfully affirming that despite all their development, the same Gaslight Anthem are still there.
As for the bonus tracks, the airy "Sweet Morphine" and singalong "Mama's Boys" both have a country feel to them, whilst "Halloween," a song that's been knocking around for a while, has a distinct "Senor & the Queen" vibe to it. The final bonus track is "Have Mercy," which like some of the album's best moments, is beautiful in its low-key simplicity.
Yet whilst this album is frequently beautiful and undeniably brave, I'd be lying if I said I embrace the sound as much as I have on previous albums; I'm used to loving a Gaslight record after 2 listens, rather than 5. Perhaps with time, I will grow to accept it even more. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics, however, are as strong as any other Gaslight album, without doubt. This is despite a massive departure for Brian Fallon in terms of his lexis - not once does he mention radios, cars or tattoos. In all seriousness, these lyrics and their delivery do make for a heartbreaking listen; take the chorus of "Break Your Heart," for example:
"Oh my my, it would break your heart, if you knew how I loved you, if I showed you my scars. If I played you my favourite song, lying here in the dark, oh my my, it would break your heart."
You don't need to read any interviews to understand the pain Fallon has clearly been going through. Anger, despair and desperation are all present here, and delivered perfectly by the enigmatic frontman.
In moving away from his traditional lexis, Fallon has also stumbled upon some more interesting lyrical concepts; "Red Violins," "Selected Poems" and the bonus track, "Halloween" are all superbly original approaches to these core sentiments, whilst the title track has me shuddering as I hear Fallon resign himself to the pain love will bring. "Stray Paper" seems to show Fallon giving up on love; "We're much too old for this... All my love becomes blood on stray paper," and "Dark Places" is brilliant in documenting how his words "just got in the way" of the obvious fact that his relationship was falling apart; "we were living proof, one by one we drifted away."
Lyrically and vocally, this album is flawless, which is really what fans have come to expect of The Gaslight Anthem. // 10
Overall Impression: If I had to compare this to another Gaslight album, it would have to be "American Slang." Just as "Slang" (perhaps their most uncertain album) represented a necessary bridge between the more accomplished "'59 Sound" and "Handwritten," "Get Hurt" feels like a stepping stone between Handwritten and whatever is coming next. This is not necessarily to take away from the album itself, which at times is genuinely brilliant, but it doesn't yet have that classic feel; I can imagine few of these tracks being played at Gaslight shows in 5 years' time.
But still, Gaslight offer a more earnest, absorbing experience than almost any other band out there at the moment, which means loyal fans such as myself are always willing to forgive any trespasses and patiently wait for another classic, safe in the knowledge that there will be one. // 8
highkingnm, on august 19, 2014 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Get Hurt" is The Gaslight Anthem's fifth album and the build up promised us a revolutionary change in sound from previous release Handwritten but, in all honesty, the lack of this change is the main disappointment with the album. However, if I were to summarise the change, I would say it is "Handwritten" with passion back.
Opener "Stay Vicious" has a gritty, fuzz-driven riff steam-rollering it and providing a great opener for a minute or so before it switches to the second most beautiful moment on the whole standard edition of the album, falling just behind the title track. Second track "1000 Years" is an unremarkable Bon Jovi-esque stomp at first glance but gets better as one listens back to it. Third on the track list is "Get Hurt" which is where the album bears its teeth emotionally; a beautiful mid tempo rocker where lead singer Brian Fallon sings with a desperation he has only previously reserved for side project The Horrible Crowes. "Stray Paper" captures this passion but uses a more ballsy riff to back it up. Things speed up with next track "Helter Skeleton," a song that disappointed at first but, much like "1000 Years" is growing on me with each listen. "Underneath the Ground" is the only song on here I have yet to like. Not that it is bad, just a bit bland. Slow echoing guitars go over organs and Fallon sounds bored rather than passionate most the time, the only time he seems to express himself as one would expect in the background vocals. "Rollin' and Tumblin'" kicks back in with a punky throwback to their early efforts sounding somewhere between fan favourite albums "Sink or Swim" and "The 59 Sound." Then come the reasons this is getting a 7 not a 9. "Red Violins" has promise but seems to slow to get going and "Selected Poems" is, as a whole, forgettable. "Ain't That a Shame" gets things back on track, once more with a killer riff and the passion returning. From here to the end is quite frankly brilliant. "Break Your Heart" is what "Handwritten"'s "National Anthem" could have been: a genuinely emotional ballad. And closer "Dark Places" delivers a huge anthem to end which saves the album from seeming too hit or miss in retrospect.
The deluxe edition songs "Sweet Morphine" and "Mama's Boys" are okay but definitely feel like the kind of songs written just for the deluxe edition and, as such, do little to affect my judgement of the album. It's a shame, however, they didn't just use the other two deluxe tracks, "Halloween" and "Have Mercy," the former being the first song to be released from the album online two years ago, with a live version leaking, and the latter being the kind of song that should have been put in in "Underneath the Ground"'s stead. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are, as is usual fare now with TGA, fantastic. Emotive and desperate they show a deteriorating relationship. And I'll be damned if you don't feel a stirring in your gut as Fallon wails how he "came to get hurt" or how he has "pills for this/tabs for that/and something that used to resemble a soul." Once more I must question the opening to "Underneath the Ground." The only time I have not connected to even one line in any TGA song is this song, only adding to my dislike of the song. The lyrics are matched perfectly in mood with the song and it shows the one area where TGA have never been weak and are only getting stronger as time goes on. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is a great album. But does it compare to "The 59 Sound" or "American Slang"? No. Too many of the tracks, at least after 5 listens, feel like fillers whereas the prior ones had one or even none. But this album still has enough soaring highs to warrant great album status and, who knows, I may come back a 6th or 7th time and find myself completely smitten with it as I was on my 3rd time where "1000 Years" went from a disappointment to one of my favourite songs on the album. But as it stands the deluxe tracks should have taken the stead of some of the actual tracks and, had they done so, this could easily have competed with their best. But "Get Hurt" is, at its heart, a mixed batch. Great anthems and pounding riffs juxtaposed with beautiful melodic parts was always a gamble and, whereas it works in "Stay Vicious" and "Get Hurt," other tracks see it seeming formulaic. No song on here is bad, the only problem is that some tracks are just okay. If they played them live you'd think "oh okay, what next" as you hope for one of the bigger tracks. But yes, this album is great and I won't question that and I am glad to have bought it and listened to it because, while it doesn't mark a complete return to the stunning form of 2008-2010 Gaslight, it does show that they have got back off the blocks of "Handwritten," a good album but one lacking in soul, with gusto. When we look back in 10 years no one will be heralding it as the best album, but it will still be loved by fans and, hopefully, as the start of a return to form for the New Jersey rockers. // 8
Nero Galon, on august 19, 2014 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Gaslight Anthem's fifth album release "Get Hurt" is an album which is sure to bring different opinions to the table. Frontman Brian Fallon was very open about how this album was delving into sound that the band had previously untouched. The band appointed producer Mike Crossey who has previously worked with Arctic Monkeys. While it is an obvious change in sound, it still holds the recognizable Gaslight elements.
The band has spoke about how they couldn't keep creating the same sound over, and while this had me worrying at first, the result is a crisply produced album that only refreshes the bands sound. Gaslight have kept to the 2-4 minute formula and still rely on Alex Rosamilia's ace leads which established fans will be glad to hear. // 8
Lyrics: Having gone through a divorce after 10 years marriage, Fallon has unsurprisingly gone to town on the theme of love and heartbreak but also moving on, much like how this albums signifies a career shift. While the lyrics are for the most part in typical Gaslight fashion and hold up to the sound, there is a certain lack of variation. It seems that the lyrics aren't quite the focus on this album, where it seemed to be on previous releases. Fallon's voice is as great as its ever been though, and at times reminded me of Alex Turner such as on "Selected Poems." If I had to pick a favourite lyrically speaking then I would pick "Halloween" which is sadly a bonus edition song. // 7
Overall Impression: This is not "Sink or Swim," "The '59 Sound," "American Slang" or "Handwritten." If it was then the band wouldn't have achieved what they wanted. While this album doesn't sound as intimate as previous albums and has been described as being too focused on achieving a arena-rock sound it does seem to be the most personal as Fallon's lyrics expresses his struggles more than any other release.
In particular I really like the opening track "Stay Vicious" for the way it blends a grungy intro into a blissful chorus. While some tracks may take multiple listens to grow, they prove that The Gaslight Anthem have the capability of having depth to their sound. While I think this is for the best, I can understand if other fans are put off. Fans of their older sound may prefer Brian's side-project Molly and the Zombies for the time being! But I'm gonna give this one a generous 8 as this album has not disappointed me at all. // 8