I don’t sleep at all anymore
and the bonds that used to hold me
well now they’ve done me harm
In terms of modern rock Get Hurt IS the “weird album”. It takes more that one listen to really grab on to it and even more than that to realize that the whole thing – and I’m including the bonus tracks pushing the album to 15 songs – is damn near without peer. Especially at a time when nu-rock bands are a dime a dozen on modern rock radio The Gaslight Anthem is a rock outfit unlike any other. With Get Hurt the guys show they can flip just as easily between distortion based guitar rock as they can to lyric driven soul searing blues rock. This is the best rock album of the year.
Not to mince words, there are few other bands that can touch The Gaslight Anthem in terms of consistent and important song writing. Frank Turner, Against Me!, Butch Walker, and Jack White are the only popular acts that are playing the kind of music that doesn’t require a soundboard Pro Tools to make palatable. Get Hurt, “weird” or not, is unparallelled against their contemporaries. “Get Vicious”, “Ain’t That a Shame”, “Selective Poems”, “Dark Places”, and “Sweet Morphine” are all terrific songs – but even more important – they are saying something. Against the earlier albums Get Hurt holds it’s own and may be their best album yet. I consider Handwritten, American Slang, and The ’59 Sound, among the best rock albums in the last several years so understand I don’t praise Get Hurt lightly. In fact, I really didn’t like it all that much when I heard it the first time. The fact is this album is different from their other stuff but that is what makes it good. It does take some time to get in to it but honestly its refreshing because so few releases these days require and reward that kind of commitment.
The Gaslight Anthem have always written songs that feel like they need to be listened to at night. It’s in their name after all. This is music that works best in darkness, preferably with a strong beer or bourbon. With Get Hurt, the guys tap in to the darkness while still maintaining their romanticism yet never feeling cliched or rote. Run, don’t walk, to get this one immediately. Even better, make sure to catch the band when they come to your town. Speaking from experience they are one of the best live acts out there.
everything has chains
and all this life just feels like a series of dreams
selected poems and lovers I can’t begin to name
and all in all I find that nothing stays the same