Rock fans, rejoice! Hurt has returned with the follow up to 2009’s amazing Goodbye To The Machine. This time around, Hurt brings the rock with The Crux. While Goodbye To The Machine found the band leaning more toward the mainstream sound of modern day radio rock, The Crux is a closer return to the earlier, dark, heavy riffs found on Volume I and Volume II.
With a new lead guitarist and a new drummer in the band, it’s obvious that the sound of The Crux is going to vary from that of Goodbye To The Machine. Guitarist Paul Spatola was an exceptional talent that will be missed. And while Spatola’s guitar is absent from the current record, it allows Hurt the opportunity to venture toward a different direction, or in this case, a return to the sound of their earlier albums. If you like the darker side of Hurt, you will love The Crux.
While the first two tracks on The Crux (“So When” and “Eden”) are solid songs, it is the third track “Links & Waves” that really catches the listener’s attention. The unfortunate part is that this song clocks in at a mere 1:15 in length. All that did was leave me wanting more. It left me curious to know what would have happened had the band decided to expand this song and breathe more life into it.
“Caught In The Rain” is easily my favorite song on the record. As I tend to lean more toward the newer style of Hurt, it only makes sense that I would love this song. Also, the guitar solo ripped out by Michael Roberts is spectacular and worthy of some love. “Caught in the Rain” is a hard rocker with a modern edge, finding Hurt really hitting their groove.
“Cuffed” continues the more modern sounding music that I’ve grown to love from this band. More sharp guitar work from Roberts, and some expert changes overall, make this a powerful and enjoyable piece of music. J. Loren Wince’s rock screams can be heard deep into the track and adds plenty of replay value to the song. “Cuffed” finds Wince’s voice at its finest, and combined with the great Roberts guitar work, this track stands out as one of the best on the record.
“How We End Up Alone” is Hurt’s first single from The Crux. It is easy to understand why the band released this song. Starting out soft and melodic, “How We End Up Alone” builds in intensity to a crescendo bridge and chorus that unveils its true power. A darker, grittier tone is captured which adds character. Roberts solo sings on this song, and if he hadn’t earned his Hurt stripes up until that point, he definitely had them at the end of this song. “How We End Up Alone” is a superb track and one of the best cuts that Hurt has ever released.
As a follow up record, The Crux holds up well. Fans that are looking for more of the Goodbye To The Machine sound may find themselves disappointed. However, long time fans that enjoy early Hurt are going to find The Crux getting several replays on their IPods. The balancing act is the sound that lay between the two discs. Songs like “Caught In The Rain” and “How We End Up Alone” are the perfect hybrid of old and new Hurt. As the band continues to progress and grow, it is my hope that they will focus more on these types of hybrid creations. It could be the best sound Hurt has come up with.
The Crux will be released Tuesday, May 1st. Get Your copy of the CD here!
Rating: Out of 10
- So When
- Links & Waves
- Sally Slips
- When It’s Cold
- Caught In the Rain
- How We End Up alone
- The Seer
J. Loren Wince – Vocals/Guitar
Michael Roberts – Guitar
Rek Mohr – Bass
Victor Ribas – Drums
Hurt has just released a new video “How We End Up Alone”. This song is available for purchase as an MP3 at this link. “How We End Up Alone” will also be on The Crux. The Crux is the sixth studio album from HURT. It will be released on April 24, 2012, on Carved Records.
You can also check out the behind the scenes video here:
Produced by HURT, engineered by HURT’s Michael Roberts and mixed by John Kurzweg (Puddle Of Mud, GodSmack), “How We End Up Alone” embodies the introspective lyrics written by J. Loren, Hurt’s singer and founder. Loren, who is known for running a sonic scale that includes a soaring chorus to ‘pin-drop’ whispers resulting in nothing short of anthemic. “How We End Up Alone.” which is already garnering rave reviews from the faithful like “Simply Amazing” and “The wait has been worth it,” will prove to be the culmination of years of road work and the mastering of one’s talents through artistic will and perseverance.
Check out HURT’s anthemic new single here.
HURT’s story begins in 2000, when the group originally formed in Virginia, before ultimately relocating to the west coast. Along the way, the group released four albums and have toured alongside some of rock’s biggest names, including Staind, Three Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Seether and Breaking Benjamin. To date, HURT has sold over a quarter million albums and has generated over 150,000 plays at Active Rock, Rock and Alternative radio over several singles. As previously mentioned, HURT’s new album, The Crux (Carved Records), will be out March 27. This is their sixth studio release and it marks a return to the sound that their fans know and love.
How We End Up Alone,” the long awaited first single from HURT’s sixth studio album, ‘The Crux,’ is available everywhere today. Produced by HURT, engineered by HURT’s Michael Roberts and mixed by John Kurzweg (Puddle Of Mud, GodSmack), “How We End Up Alone” embodies the introspective lyrics written by J. Loren, Hurt’s singer and founder. Loren, who is known for running a sonic scale that includes a soaring chorus to ‘pin-drop’ whispers resulting in nothing short of anthemic. “How We End Up Alone.” which is already garnering rave reviews from the faithful like “Simply Amazing” and “The wait has been worth it,” will prove to be the culmination of years of road work and the mastering of one’s talents through artistic will and perseverance. Click here to listen and here to purchase.
The release of “How We End Up Alone” and ‘The Crux’ marks a milestone for Loren (vocals/guitar/violin), Michael Roberts (guitar), Rek Mohr (bass) and Victor Ribas (drums) in not only the release of the band’s sixth studio album but also in signing to a new label, Dallas, TX- based Carved Records. Tim Porter, CEO of Carved Records, says; “HURT stepped up and delivered an unparalleled musical experience with ‘The Crux’ and I have no doubt that their years of work in perfecting there art will culminate in the release of their biggest album to date. ‘The Crux’ is going to take HURT to another level!”
J. Loren goes on to describe the motivation behind the album and first single; “The inspiration is the conceptual exploration of the human condition in our eternally doomed struggle for us as creatures to understand ourselves. Fans of our older works will be pleasantly rewarded to hear a return to the sound that they know and love. We took our time and made this right. It is most different in the way that it is closest to the mark of a flawed perfection that is so very hard to achieve. And we did it while capturing more of our natural passion than ever before.”
HURT has been warming up selections from ‘The Crux’ this past fall along with re-imagining their repertoire on the road for their ‘ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE’ tour. “This is the other side of what we do and why we love doing it,” explains J. Loren. Instead of cranking up the electric guitars, the hard-rocking group pulled out their acoustic guitars, banjo, added a cellist and showcased J. Loren on his signature instrument, the violin for these shows as a way to reconnect with their fans and their music as well as introducing the new songs to the folks who matter most…the fans. The result was something both new and familiar. The ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE’s 2-hour-plus shows will continue in late January 2012 TBA and will reveal the many layers of their new and old songs as the band gears up for the release of ‘The Crux.’
ABOUT THE BAND: HURT was formed in 2000 and to date has sold over a quarter million albums and has generated over 150,000 plays at Active Rock, Rock and Alternative radio over several singles. Hurt first released two independent albums Hurt in 2000 and The Consumation in 2003 and many of the songs from these two albums found their way onto their first two major label releases. The band received critical success with their major label debut album, Vol. 1, released on March 21, 2006 and featured the hit singles “Rapture” and “Falls Apart.” Their second album was the critically acclaimed Vol. II, released on September 25, 2007, and they gained their biggest rock hit with the single “Ten Ton Brick.” HURT released their fifth studio album on April 7, 2009, titled Goodbye to the Machine which featured the hit “Wars.” ‘The Crux’ will be the band’s 6th studio album and will be available for sale worldwide on March 27, 2012.
Alternative rock-band HURT recently signed to CARVED RECORDS. “We are very excited to add HURT to our roster of great artists,” states Tim Porter, label owner. “The depth of HURT’S music was what caught our attention. After one listen to their new material we knew they were a perfect addition to Carved. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.”
Front man J. Loren goes on to say, “We made the decision for Carved Records to be our new home because they truly are one of the few companies that continues to believe in rock oriented artists and their music. With their solid commitment to growing and working bands in an uncertain musical climate, we felt this was the right fit for HURT.”
HURT was formed in 2000 and first released the independent albums Hurt in 2000 and The Consumation in 2003. Some of the songs from those early albums found their way onto their first two major label releases, and subsequently The Consumation was re-mastered as The Re-Consumation in 2008. The band received critical success with their major label debut album, Vol. 1, released on March 21, 2006. Their singles “Rapture” and “Falls Apart” gained significant radio airplay on rock stations throughout United States. Their second album was the critically acclaimed Vol. II, released on September 25, 2007, and which garnered them their largest radio rock hit yet with the single “Ten Ton Brick.” HURT released their fifth studio album on April 7, 2009, titled Goodbye to the Machine. The group consists of lead singer J. Loren, guitarist Michael Roberts, bassist Rek Mohr, and drummer Victor Ribas.
The Carved Records family is a mix of tenured music and label professionals, artistic-minded entrepreneurs and musicians skilled in the aspects of sales, distribution, marketing, radio/TV formatting, PR and artist repertoire. This family of individuals share the passion needed to compete in a saturated and aggressive industry. Carved Records has a stylistic focus while seeking high quality artists.
Catch HURT on their upcoming acoustic tour kicking off in St. Louis, MO on October 29th.
October 29 – St Louis, MO The Duck Room
October 30 – Louisville, KY Uncle Slayton’s
November 1 – Chicago, IL Schubas
November 2 – Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
November 3 – Indianapolis, IN Radio Radio
November 7 – Nashville, TN 12th & Porter
November 8 – Atlanta, GA Smith’s Olde Bar
November 9 – Knoxville, TN Relix
November 10 – Charlotte, NC Visulite
November 12 – Washington, DC Sixth and I
November 13 – West Chester, PA The Note
November 14 – New York, NY The Mercury Lounge
November 15 – Cambridge, MA T.T. the Bear’s Place
This week at Hard Rock Hideout we give you not one, but three Top 10 lists for 2009. We will post one each day this week, as well as our top 10 of the decade later this week. Ryo Vie joined HRH’s merry team of rockers this year, and has reviewed some fantastic music for us. Today I give you Ryo’s Top 10 of 2009.
So here we are – at the close of another year. Rob has graciously asked me to put together my top 10 releases for 2009 and I was more than happy to comply. The rock and roll fan got a TON of great music released this year, from Bon Jovi to Winger to Lynch Mob, it was a great year to be into hard rock. However, not everything can make the list (that’s why it’s a top 10) and since this is HARD ROCK HIDEOUT, I kept this list to my ten favorite hard rock records of 2009. If you’d like to see my list of general favorites for 2009, feel free to visit my blog at http://rockandrollguru.blogspot.com
Now without further adieu, here are Ryo Vie’s Top 10 hard rock albums for 2009 !
#10: House of Lords – Cartesian Dreams
Considering that I left this band for dead years ago, I had no expectations whatsoever when House of Lords released Cartesian Dreams. Perhaps that’s why I had an unbiased mind when I first spun this disc. After one play, I was hooked. Holy hell what an exceptional offering this band turned out. Slick with their euro-metal sound, House of Lords came back in a big way this year. I’m hoping that they team up with other hair metal acts to tour, or at least show up at the major festivals. To hear songs like Bangin’ live would be excellent!
#9: Flyleaf – Memento Mori
A sophomore effort that was worth the wait is the best way to describe Flyleaf’s Memento Mori. They were able to overcome the dreaded sophomore jinx by releasing an incredible record that showcases the talent of lead vocalist Lacey Mosley. As I mentioned in my recent review, she sings with emotion that sweeps through the listener, pulls them in, and doesn’t let go. It is her pure energy that makes Memento Mori such an excellent record. Combined with the talents of her other band members, 2010 should be a huge year for this band. As it is, 2009 landed them at number 9 on my list of best rock albums of the year.
#8: Winger – Karma
Winger surprised everyone this year, including their most die-hard fans, by releasing an incredible rock and roll record. Although Kip Winger sounds like David Coverdale on some songs, Karma is a beautiful disc immersed in a thick grunge sound that gives the record power. The ballads are incredible, and the heavier tracks are quality rock songs that will have you shaking your ass (if you’re into that sort of thing). Karma is an absolutely incredible record that any rock and roll fan should own.
#7: U2 – No Line On The Horizon
Shocked. That’s how I was when I listened to No Line On The Horizon. I was skeptical of the new U2 disc. How could they possibly release another great disc after All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb? Well, somehow, they made it happen again. Another near perfect album came out this year from the Irish rockers beloved the world over. With incredible songs like the title track, Breathe, and Moment Of Surrender U2 continues to dazzle and show us just why they are one of the greatest rock bands in existence.
#6: Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot
Rock supergroups can be hit or miss especially when there are high expectations. (Case in point: Them Crooked Vultures – awful miss). Fortunately for rock fans (and Van Halen fans) Chickenfoot was a huge hit. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have been working together for years, so there was no doubting their chemistry, but when you add in two other super players (guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith) it’s a wild card. These four pulled it off. Satriani showcases some of his best guitar work ever, and Sammy sounds as happy as when he first joined Van Halen. Chickenfoot wins the award for feel good record of the year, and they land in my top 10 for 2009.
#5: Bon Jovi – The Circle
The bad boys from Jersey have grown into the gentle men from New Jersey, but even after all these years they still know how to rock! The Circle delivers the goods in every way imaginable and is more than you’d expect from a Bon Jovi album. Straying away from the country tinged themes of their previous album (Lost Highway), Bon Jovi returns to the rock and roll with this year’s release. Gearing up for a 2010 tour, I can’t wait to hear The Circle live. In the meantime, I’ll be playing this record on a constant loop.
#4: HURT – Goodbye to the Machine
Stunned. That’s a good word to use that describes how I felt after the first few times I listened to this record. I had no expectations going into my review, and after a few listens to Goodbye To The Machine, I was smitten. This record is simply amazing! A heavy, grunge type rock, Hurt delivers exceptional songs backed by intense rhythm, strong lyrics, and a highly talented lead singer. Goodbye To The Machine was probably the best surprise I heard all year, and I’m proud to add it to my top 10.
#3: Pearl Jam – Backspacer
In September, Pearl Jam released their long awaited album Backspacer to the delight of many fans (cousin Ryo included). It had been a long time since their last record (2006’s Pearl Jam) and the new songs were something that fans were crying to get their ears on. Well, the wait was worth it and the time between records paid off. Pearl Jam delivered another fantastic record, and while not quite as good as their self titled previous effort, Backspacer is certainly a worthy disc. A well crafted, well thought, beautifully arranged work of art.
#2: Lynch Mob – Smoke And Mirrors
I’ll be honest, when I heard that this album was coming out featuring original vocalist Oni Logan, I didn’t have much hope for greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited and I wanted the album to do well and sound incredible. However, I’m a realist, and with Logan being MIA for so long, and George being out of the spotlight, I wasn’t sure if they still had that magical chemistry. Am I ever so glad that they erased any doubt that I had. Smoke And Mirrors is a metal classic!
#1: KISS – Sonic Boom
Those who know me will scream bias for picking KISS as my number 1 hard rock record of 2009, but that is not why they are being chosen. Yes, Kiss is my favorite band, but Sonic Boom is a worthy contender for record of the year. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley went into the studio with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer and put together one incredible album. Sonic Boom is so much more than a great Kiss record – it’s a great record. If you played it and had no idea what band it was, you’d still like it. It’s their best work in decades, it’s a strong rock record, and it is the best release of 2009.
For more great top lists for 2009, please check out the following websites:
Hurt can best be described as a band that is still finding their one true voice, which is what makes them so great. Most rock critics would be quick to dismiss them as a metal band that never made it, but they would fail to see the full spectrum of influences that are represented in Hurt’s music. With a mainstream sound smoothly blended with indie influence, hard rock guitars, and even a violin solo (or two), Hurt’s Goodbye to The Machine is nothing short of amazing.
Part Radiohead, part Black Stone Cherry, part Seether, with a touch of Saving Abel and a smattering of other influences, Hurt has combined all the best elements of these bands and turned them into their own stylistic sound. They mix country, metal, alternative, pop, and jazz into one hard rock beauty, Goodbye to The Machine.
Goodbye to The Machine opens with the heavy hitting “Got Jealous”, the hard rock tale of a jealous lover, drugged up and plotting his revenge. This is a haunting, dark and angry lead song that is a great introduction to the band. “Got Jealous” is an excellent track and an amazing opener that forces you to stay for the rest of the album.
Shaun Morgan from Seether stops by to provide guest vocals (alongside lead vocalist J. Loren Wince) on “World Ain’t Right”, which is a cool appearance, but unfortunately it’s a weak song. In time, this song may grow on me, but after a few listens, this is a ballad that lacks power. The message is there, and the music is pretty, just no punch.
“Dreams Away” fights hard for the title of best song on the record and wins. This is a song that should be smothering mainstream radio. A catchy, rocking tune that builds on an excellent guitar riff, contains exceptional lyrics, and has the proper elements of a great single. Wince’s vocals are sharp and invigorating and collaborate perfectly with Paul Spatola’s guitar work. “Dreams Away” is an incredible song that makes the entire disc worth the price of purchase.
Goodbye to The Machine really picks up in the second half. If the first half of this disc is a decent, solid recording, then the second half can only be described as a masterpiece. With “Well”, “Pills”, “Dreams Away”, and “Fighting Tao”, all competing alongside “Got Jealous” for best song on the disc, the second half truly rocks.
The real power of Goodbye to The Machine is the progressive changes contained in each song. From slow and melodic to hard and heavy, Goodbye to The Machine runs the gauntlet of musical tastes. Wince’s vocals are solid throughout the record and show a wide range of ability and talent. Spatola’s guitar playing is stellar and completes the album. The solos stand out and reveal the true talent that Spatola has. Hard rock guitar and drums, blended with acoustic intros and interludes, the occasional violin solo, and a voice that can sing to all of these instruments and more, Goodbye to The Machine may have to go into consideration for one of 2009’s best releases.
Bottom line? This is an album that you have to add to your collection. If you consider yourself a fan of hard rock music and are looking for the next great thing, pick up a copy of Hurt’s Goodbye to The Machine. It’s an excellent way to spend an hour of your day.
Rating: Out of 10
- Got Jealous
- World Ain’t Right (feat. Shaun Morgan of Seether)
- Sweet Delilah
- Role Martyr X
- Dreams Away
- Fighting Tao
- That (Such A Thing)
J. Loren Wince – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Paul Spatola – Lead Guitar
Rek Mohr – Bass Guitar
Louie Sciancalepore – Drums