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Album Review: The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt

3 min read

Beloved US rock back The Gaslight Anthem are back for another round with their fifth studio album, Get Hurt; the group’s first record since 2012’s Handwritten. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the band’s frontman Brian Fallon revealed that the group have gone that extra step to produce a completely different sound than what they have traditionally gone for with their previous work, citing Pearl Jam’s No Code album as a key influence during the writing process.

The Gaslight Anthem - Get HurtThe album’s third single Stay Vicious proves a grungy introduction, that deep roar of the guitar drives the verse accompanied by Fullon’s growl; the verses give way to a bridge toned down to give the song such a dynamic range, you find it hard to get bored with it. 1000 Years opens with a riff which passes as a hook, and the pre-chorus launches into a killer of a chorus; the record’s second single Get Hurt is more down tempo than its predecessor, there is a pleasing tone in Fullon’s vocal, as well as the instrumentation which doesn’t need to be too showy to impress. The energy makes a comeback in the form of track number four, Stray Paper; the song is pumped right from the start, the guitar riff is solid and the vocals are cliche rock influenced with Fullon exploring much of his range. Helter Skeleton consists of an enthusiastic riff and a faster paced vocal throughout each chorus, whilst the verses are more down tempo to add a rawness to the track, again showcasing the group’s knack for dynamic; Underneath The Ground isn’t the strongest point of the album, but still manages to demonstrate the different sound the group was going for, it’s definitely a bit more mellow and less busy.

The lead single Rollin’ and Tumblin’ is exciting from the first note, it is nearly three minutes of pure head nodding rock and roll; definitely worthy of being the first taste test of the new album, it wastes no time in getting the listener pumped. Red Violins is another mellow take on rock, it definitely has a mainstream pop/rock vibe to it; Selected Poems never has a dull moment with its intense vocal and awesome arrangement. Ain’t That A Shame doesn’t have anything extra to offer as it is construed with the same formula as many of the songs before, it doesn’t stand out on its own or emit any new perspective, which is unfortunate because it’s not that bad of a track. All is redeemed with the toned down Break Your Heart, the most raw track from the album, which is driven by a softer vocal admirable of a traditional rock singer and a soothing instrumentation to accompany; Dark Places brings the album to a close on a more upbeat note.

Get Hurt demonstrates how a rock act such as The Gaslight Anthem can successfully experiment with new sounds and pull it off; you can hear the cited Pearl Jam influence almost one hundred percent, especially with the more upbeat and energetic tracks. At times it didn’t sound like the group were trying all too hard as many songs seemed to strictly follow a generic formula, but at the same time that can be viewed as the band keeping the album closely tied with the concept they had in mind. Fans should keep in mind that this is definitely the same Gaslight Anthem, but not the sound that they have grown used to; Get Hurt is mostly a different kettle of fish, but the good kind.