There's always been something a little nostalgic about the earnest, rust belt rock of the Gaslight Anthem, and it wouldn't be unfair to say that the band has been looking to the past with a laser focus on the rugged songwriting of New Jersey's favorite son, Bruce Springsteen. On Get Hurt, the fifth studio album from the Garden State rockers, the band expand their influences to create what might be their most unique album to date. Exploring the rock sounds of the '70s, the band show off their versatility as they take listeners on a guided tour of the LP bins of the day. Opening with a droning riff culled straight from the annals of classic stoner rock, the first track, "Stay Vicious," makes it clear that something very different is happening here. Given their past work, the last thing anyone would expect from the band is to open up their album with dirty, fuzz-covered guitars, but somehow they make it work. Further in, the searing leads and yearning vocals of "Helter Skeleton" feel like an homage to the starry-eyed power pop of Cheap Trick. No matter what sound they're using for a framework, though, the Gaslight Anthem always find themselves returning to these little moments of quiet honesty, stripping away the swagger to expose the emotional core at the center of their music. Delicate tracks like "Underneath the Ground" reveal that the real essence of the Gaslight Anthem's sound isn't sonic so much as it is emotional. Get Hurt shows that so long as they're passionate about their music, it doesn't matter where the band are getting their inspiration from, because genuinely caring about something is always compelling.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney