American alternative rock band The Gaslight Anthem returns with their 5th full length album, Get Hurt, out of Island Records. Released on August 12th of this year, the most recent effort by lead singer/guitarist Brian Fallon, lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia, bassist Alex Levine and drummer Benny Horowitz, Get Hurt is the turning of a new page for the band. Known for their Americana rock and Bruce Springsteen sounding records, TGA has made a name for themselves world wide.
On their most recent record TGA has decided to move in a completely new direction. With new producer Mike Crossey, the band crafted a twelve-track album that sounds nothing like their previous work. In a way the album has the same formula and feel of a Gaslight Anthem album, but it seems as if it has been stripped of some of the usual bombastic and explosive rock that defined their earlier records. Opting for slower ballads then rapid fire guitar work on title track “Get Hurt” that resonates with listeners about love and the pain it can cause. Fallon has not changed too much lyrically and sticks to his guns when singing about lost love, death and family. Even without the patented sound of past albums, Get Hurt still manages to stand out on its own.
The start of the album starts off with the grungy and surprisingly heavy “Stay Vicious”, that reduces Fallons voice to a low growl before he belts out the chorus in one of the more energetic tracks on the album. Things begin to pick up with the uplifting “1,000 Years” before “Get Hurt” slows the momentum down to a trickle. Immediately after single “Get Hurt” is over one of the most soulful songs on the record begins. Titled “Stray Paper”, this quick pop ballad is filled with positive energy and good vibes. It is not until track seven, “Rollin’ And Tumblin”, that you hear the familiar fast paced TGA sound that has captured them a large and loyal fan base.
The Gaslight Anthem pulls no punches near the end as guitar heavy trifecta “Red Violins”, “Selected Poems” and “Aint That A Shame” open the door to two of the best tracks on the whole entire album. Slow yet almost sensual, “Break Your Heart” is a touching love song that tugs on the heart strings. Fallons gruff vocals add a sense of sincerity and the simple instrumentation backing the track make for a beautiful reprieve. This is just the calm before the storm as final track “Dark Places” starts off slowly then ends with a wave of guitar and drums. While undeniably different then many of their other albums, TGA has managed to capture a brand new sound that will carry them to their next musical discovery. Get Hurt is a soulful stripped down Gaslight Anthem album with plenty of listening potential.
Final Grade: B