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The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt (Cover Artwork)

The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem: Get HurtGet Hurt (2014)
Island Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: misterspikemisterspike
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In recent interviews leading up to the release of Get Hurt, the newest release by New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem, singer/guitarist Brian Fallon made it clear that fans shouldn't expect the same ol' collection of paeans to girls named Maria and leaving the radio on. "Completely different than anyt.
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In recent interviews leading up to the release of Get Hurt, the newest release by New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem, singer/guitarist Brian Fallon made it clear that fans shouldn't expect the same ol' collection of paeans to girls named Maria and leaving the radio on. "Completely different than anything we had ever done before," is how Fallon put it to Rolling Stone last May. While admitting that fans of the band would be able to recognize snippets of songs that could have belonged on their previous work, "there are some songs where you're going to be like, 'This has never been touched by this band before.'"

Fallon's not exaggerating. The 12 songs that comprise Get Hurt (or up to 16 depending on which version you decide to purchase) show a band that has taken a look at itself and decided to throw a few wrenches into the mix. The album opener, "Stay Vicious", shows off that fact immediately, with loud and fuzzy guitars blasting over a medium—tempo beat. "I feel just like a stranger/I don't sleep at all anymore/And the arms that used to hold me/Well now, they've done me harm," Fallon growls, his voice sounding grittier and more worn than ever before. "Once upon a time I lived a perfect life ? in a dream of mine from a thousand years ago," he sings on "1,000 Years", the chorus sounding as big and loud as fans have come to expect. That notwithstanding, Get Hurt is a darker record than previous Gaslight releases.

Slower/mixed tempos and more subdued vocals take up a good part of the album. The band explores different combinations than on earlier records to mixed results. Where previously, the results would be loud and anthemic, here Gaslight has opted for a more subdued atmosphere. While the loud, sing—along choruses can still be found in places ("Rollin' and Tumblin'", "1,000 Years", "Ain't That a Shame"), songs like "Break Your Heart" and "Red Violin" are more nuanced. Bombast is traded for more subtle feelings, sometimes mixing both at the same time, particularly on "Selected Poems".

"It would break your heart/If you knew me well/See, I have run so far/That I've lost myself," Fallon softly sings the beginning of "Break Your Heart". Falling towards the end of the album, it is the soft, heartbreaking highlight of Get Hurt and displays the songwriting strength of Fallon and Co: "If you knew how I loved you/If I showed you my scars/If I played you my favorite song/Lying here in the dark" demonstrates a first—person emotional depth not previously heard on Gaslight releases. It's safe to classify Get Hurt as a heartbreak record, making the cover art's inverted heart more symbolic.

The iTunes exclusive, "Have Mercy" takes on an almost Tom Waits influence. Starting with Fallon nearly growling, "Come pick me up from the night/From the hands of the dark/From the things I didn't know/That would simply break your heart", it slowly builds into a soft marching beat asking an unnamed person not to ask where he's been or who he's seen, "because you don't want to know ? leave it alone." A highlight.

Get Hurt is a difficult album. It challenges the longtime fan to re—examine why they loved The Gaslight Anthem in the first place, but still invites them on a journey that is worth taking. Darker and not nearly as accessible as their previous releases, repeated listens give way to a greater appreciation. Not everyone is going to be into traveling the road that Gaslight has chosen to take on this release. Those that stick around might get a different appreciation for what the band has to offer.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAgainst Me! - Transgender Dysphoria BluesThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Menzingers - Rented WorldThe Lawrence Arms - MetropoleThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - White CrossesAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Menzingers - On the Impossible Past

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
timahelm (September 8, 2014)

definitely not my type of music... Couldn't finish the album...

filbunke (September 5, 2014)

Definitely better than "Handwritten". This album has a few bad songs but overall it's actually good. "Helter Skeleton" is probably my favorite track on this one.

pwnther (August 24, 2014)

K. Listened to this album a lot over the last few weeks. It won me over. Best record since 59 sound. Dark Places could be one of my favorite songs of theirs. I love the one-two punch of Stray Paper and Helter Skeleton.

SwissCheese (August 23, 2014)

I think this album has some real strong songs and some rather weak ones as well. Worth checking out if you like their previous albums. I like it about the same as American Slang. I'd put sink or swim, 59 sound and Handwritten a notch, or a few, above.

ak3punk (August 20, 2014)

Great album. It grew on me instantly. I wasn't the biggest "Handwritten" fan but it eventually won me over. I don't think these guys have a bad album in their discog.

wilrus (August 19, 2014)

Had it for a week now and probably around 30-35 listens and the great songs only get better (Get Hurt, Break Your Heart, Have Mercy etc.) and the average Gaslight ones stay average (Underneath the Ground). That being said it is easily my favorite album behind '59 Sound. I feel like it captures a single point like American Slang did while improving on the song writing/arranging. So many bone chilling moments, I appreciate the soul crushing Elsie vibe that Brian brought to his writing after the divorce. I know it's not for everyone in the way Handwritten was produced but for me they have hit something special I only feel every 2-3 years

smittyyttims (August 19, 2014)

i just can't get into it. i'm trying. it's boring. doesn't really go that well together. i'm a big fan of the band and rarely bash anything they do, but this is just missing something.

ballsackky (August 16, 2014)

Kinda split. Some of the lyrical moments are horrific as is the red butt that is the cover, but the musical maturity is to be admired. not quite the Sandanista like exploration that the clash had with that album. I definitely hear some throwbacks to the horrible crowes that I like. I would say not as good as handwritten but still pretty solid release from these chaps.

keithybobeefy (August 14, 2014)

I'm through my third time listening to this from front to back and it's an awesome album. It's classic Gaslight without being classic Gaslight. Love it.

RiotRiot81 (August 13, 2014)

"The bar band down the street could have made this. Stop embracing mediocrity." Question for you broseph? Do you play an instrument? Have you ever written a song? The reason I ask is this isn't even on the same planet as mediocrity. Is it punk rock? No... Brian and the boys are some of the best song writers in modern Rock'N Roll in my opinion.

keithybobeefy (August 13, 2014)

I'm really really really liking this album.

unwaxed (August 12, 2014)

bland

exitenglish1208 (August 11, 2014)

agree with most of the comments below. i love this band and have for a long time, but still expected to be disappointed with this release but after 3-4 listens i really started to love it, and now i think it's pretty great. stray paper, 1000 years, have mercy, all great songs. nicely done boys.

also, pwnther: check out the version of halloween from the fan club 7 inch two years ago, it's much better IMO and does sound more produced, it's one of my favorite songs of theirs.

BarleyPat (August 11, 2014)

"The bar band down the street could have made this. Stop embracing mediocrity." That's pretty much the foundation of punk rock and one of it's core values, so if THAT'S your reason for disliking it, you may be in the wrong place.......

BarleyPat (August 11, 2014)

"Matt Skiba must be kicking himself for not using "Helter Skeleton" as a song/album title first." My first thought when I saw that track name as well....

IllaZilla (August 11, 2014)

Matt Skiba must be kicking himself for not using "Helter Skeleton" as a song/album title first.

Jonny0110 (August 11, 2014)

A good album that sadly keeps running to safety with songs like Rollin' and Tumblin', which sound exactly like you'd expect Gaslight to sound. A few more songs like the title track and "Stay Vicious" would make this a huge departure and a great refresh of their sound. As it is, still highly enjoyable.

Johnathon1069 (August 10, 2014)

The best part about this review, is that one of the suggested albums if you dig it is by The Lemonheads ... now there was a great band when it came to mixing punk influences with pure pop sensibility. I haven't heard this album yet, I suppose I'll have to obtain a copy of it.

faithisforfools (August 10, 2014)

Pleasantly surprised by this.
Definitely like it more than Handwritten.

iruineverything (August 10, 2014)

Guys who walk around drinking from a bottle of water as if it's something they do on a regular basis are going to love this.

eran_zombis (August 10, 2014)

For the past two records I've been digging the faster tunes and disliking the slower ones, but this record seems to be the opposite for me. Seems closer to HC and his solo stuff. Willing to skip over the (imo) bland rock n roll songs for the other solid tracks.

bastard_sQuad (August 10, 2014)

That first song is one of the worst things I've heard in a long time. Awful.

maxq333 (August 10, 2014)

You know sometimes when you get an album which just hits you -- even though on paper you should hate it? For me, that's this record. I don't know what it is, but something about it has got me hooked. Probably Fallon's lyricism. Absolutely love "Dark Places" being such a throwback to "The Backseat".

Also, there is no way that "Have Mercy" should have been left off the record. That track is stunning.

Blackjaw_ (August 10, 2014)

I was expecting this to be awful. My only wish for it to at least be better than Handwritten. After one listen, I knew it was. After a few, I thought it might be even better than Elsie. And now after several listens I'm starting to think it might be on par with their first 3 albums (I could never rank those). I'm honestly so, so surprised how much I like it.

regreteverything (August 10, 2014)

Middle aged white women who wear flip flops to weddings are going to love this album.

daveyjones (August 10, 2014)

i've listened to it several times, and i think it's a big steaming turd.

jdesk0911 (August 10, 2014)

I've listened to it about three times all the way through. Like one of the postings above I agree if you are a long time listener you need to let this one sink in. With that being said my favorite tracks are "1000 Years", "Helter Skeleton", the ever so comfort song "Rollin and Tumblin", "Dark Places", and finally "Break your heart". On this particular site there has always seemed to be the lovers and the haters of this band.

I'm not sure why that is but after seeing this band live several times from 400 person clubs to full on music festivals they always deliver, they always stick around out back to chat, and they have never acted above anyone that comes to see them. This is a hard working band who write what they feel and do what they want.

I've liked all of their albums and all of them are very different from the last. Rather than trying to compare one to the other I just prefer to enjoy each offering as they are. This band is very important to me. And there are very few bands I can say that about. I hope they continue writing what they want how they want no matter what other people say or think about it.

riotofwordsrva (August 10, 2014)

A few listens in, I like this album but for different reasons than I've enjoyed previous albums. It's still catchy and I still love Brian's voice, but I think the review is spot-on that it won't grab everyone but repeated listens will lead to a deeper appreciation. Helter Skeletons is a great song.

I like seeing bands evolve. Making the same album multiple times in a row is boring... if I want the 59 Sound, I'll go listen to it.

Also, this is a direction they've been going in since American Slang (a record I think is criminally underrated), so the 'cool to hate' thing with this band is getting really old.

pwnther (August 10, 2014)

Not their best record, there's a few awkward moments. (I wish Halloween sounded a little bit more produced, it still sounds like a demo) But there's some damn good songs on here (Dark Places, Break your Heart, Helter Skeleton, etc).
We'll see if the other ones grow on me.

danperrone (August 10, 2014)

horrific record with no redeeming qualities. even handwritten had a few great tracks that i always came back to, but this? it's just so...BORING. there's nothing to it. no depth at all.

wahhey (August 10, 2014)

just listening to the first song it sounds like they had the fact that the black keys are really popular heavily on their minds. "it's like nothing we've ever done before, its more like the stuff the black keys have done before."

publichousingv2 (August 10, 2014)

It's still early days, so my opinion has a lot of time to settle, but right now I think this is their best record behind The '59 Sound (not sure where it stands against Elsie yet). It's definitely Fallon's best vocal performance to date ("Stray Paper" gives me chills in this regard). The transition from the verses to the chorus in "Stay Vicious" is one of the most interesting tricks they've ever pulled, and "Dark Places" almost rivals "The Backseat" for their best closing song. "Underneath The Ground" is a good example of "completely different than anything we had ever done before". Great song. I also reallyreallyreally like the lyrics this time around ("Stray Paper" again).

So yeah, I really like this record.

gorilla (August 10, 2014)

The bar band down the street could have made this. Stop embracing mediocrity.

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