THE BACK END

Get Hurt EMI

Blunt - - A Day To Remember - OLIVER PELLING

Al­bum, film, game and live re­views from the only peo­ple you can trust.

The word “ex­perim en­tal” was thrown around a lot in the lead- up to The Gaslight An­them’s fifth record, but it’s im­por­tant to put this word in con­text. This record is not avant- garde. It’s not self- ag­gran­dis­ing, over- in­dul­gent or even par­tic­u­larly ground­break­ing. It is, quite sim­ply, a bunch of rock’n’roll fans try­ing some slightly dif­fer­ent stuff in their rock’n’roll band. And that’s no slight.

Just one lis­ten to the open­ing riff of “Stay Vi­cious”, the al­bum’s opener, will have many fans scratch­ing their heads. It’s heavy – at least heav­ier in terms of Gaslight’s out­put to date – it’s dark, and it’s led by a riff. A big, dirty riff. But those fans need not fret. Those size­able, soar­ing cho­ruses The Gaslight An­them are known for are still here in spades, as are those ever- wist­ful melodies and sto­ry­teller lyrics ( though Fal­lon’s usual lyri­cal points of ref­er­ence – ra­dios, clas­sic cars, Maria and Vir­ginia – are nowhere to be seen).

Those hop­ing for Get Hurt to pick up where 2012’ s Hand­writ­ten left off may be a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed. Here you’ll find throw­backs to old al­bums (“Rollin’ And Tum­blin’” is rather Sink Or Swim- es­que) strewn amongst tracks that sound dis­sim­i­lar to any­thing the band has done be­fore (“Get Hurt”, “Un­der­neath The Ground”). Heav­ier though it is, Get Hurt is also home to what is per­haps Fal­lon’s most ten­der bal­lad to date, with “Break Your Heart” do­ing just what it says on the tin. “Se­lected Po­ems” is ar­guably the best ex­am­ple of the band tak­ing the finest el­e­ments from their past records, chan­nelling them in to one song, and turn­ing it up to 11. It seems that by tak­ing this more ‘ ex­per­i­men­tal’ tack, Fal­lon and co. be­came less self- aware and were free to write some songs they re­ally wanted to write. The Gaslight An­them may not be the only band in the world to have ever made this kind of racket, but there’s no­body do­ing it bet­ter right now.

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