Brian Fallon is said to have had a nasty bout of writer’s block before he finally got around to making the big selling Handwritten, but with the dissolution of his marriage recently Get Hurt should have been a been a doddle to make with plenty of grist for the mill.
The Gaslight Anthem promised to make a record that was a long way removed from their breakout album, The ’59 Sound, and while they may have made some subtle tweaks, Get Hurt is still unmistakably the Jersey quartet. The opening salvo hints at a progression as the punk rock roots appear to give way to a more stadium approach with some spandex inspired guitar work. It may be a point of difference but Stay Vicious isn’t playing to the band’s strengths as it sounds to considered and contrived.
The title track is more like what is expected from The Gaslight Anthem with its earnest mid-tempo appeal. Things start to hit their straps at the midway mark of the album and when Rollin’ And Tumblin’ kicks in the band are at their raspy sing-along best. Ain’t That A Shame continues Fallon’s knack for a chorus and Break Your Heart is the albums stripped back heartbreaker.
Get Hurt isn’t the caustic break up album that was expected nor is it a tepid pool of self-loathing. It may not be the strongest of their records, but its a sleeper that gets better with each deserved listen.