The latest from Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen) who has teamed up with his brother Markto write his most succinct record to date. The self-titled, HURTSMILE is a raw sonic suckerpunch in the face! From the opening buzz saw riff of “Just War Theory” to the epic finale of”Slave” and “Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against the Goads”, Gary continues to push andpoke you in the ear with his lyrically provocative themes.“Hurtsmile was a long time coming… I always wanted to write a record with my brother,” saysGary. “I’m a big fan of Mark’s song writing and his snarling guitar riffs.” The timing was right as Extreme was in-between their touring and record cycle, leaving Gary the freedom. Theyrecruited Joe Pessia (bass) an alumnus of Nuno Bettencourt’s Dramagods as well as the guitarplayer for Tantric. Joe also engineered, and co-produced the record with Gary.
To round off thelineup they enlisted heavy hitter Dana Spellman on drums “It’s an east coast-Boston thing,”states Gary. “Mark, my brother, was in a band with Nuno’s brother… Joe was in Nuno’s bandand Dana was a friend, and student of Mike Mangini (former Extreme drummer) … we like tokeep it in the family.”The lineup is not the only thing familiar with the band. In true Cherone fashion, the record ischock full of swaggering guitar, soaring vocals and the trademark Cherone eclecticism ontracks such as “Jesus Would You Meet Me”, the reggae-tinged “Just War Reprise” and theDylanesq “The Murder of Daniel Faulkner (4699)”. “Hurtsmile was about returning to myroots, writing a record in my basement, a straight up rock ‘n’ roll record… but it turned out tobe more diverse and ambitious than I expected.”Gary is no stranger to taking on intense topics, and Hurtsmile is no exception.
The first half of the record is a group of more loosely knit songs such as the cynically inquisitive “Just WarTheory”, the limit’s of free speech “Tolerance Song (edit)” and the disturbingly mesmerizing“Kaffur (Infidel)”, inspired by the beheading of Daniel Pearl.The 2nd half of the record is more conceptually cohesive; an introspective look at the nature ofman and the condition of the human heart. “Stillborn” introduced earlier, and “Set Me Free”both touch on mans inclination toward darkness, culminating with an epic journey from sin tosalvation… “Slave” to “Beyond the Garden/Kicking Against the Goads”.For the most part both themes are represented as 2 sides of a record. A concept familiar toExtreme fans but make no mistake, whether reading between the lines or just moved by thevisceral power of the music, this is a completely different type of record. Gary adds, “All theboys in the band have brought something new to the table, and you’ll never know what hit you!”
Just War Theory,Stillborn, Love Thy Neighbo, Kaffur (Infidel), Painter Paint, Tolerance Song, Set Me Free, Jesus Would You Meet Me, Slave, Beyond The Garden – Kicking Against The Goads, Just War Reprise, The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699)
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Markus Cherone – Guitars
Joe Pessia – Bass, Mandolin
Dana Spellman – Drums, Percussion
Produced by Gary Cherone, Joe Pessia