If there’s no education like adversity, then Hurt is the smartest band around. On the quartet’s second Capitol album, Vol. II, the sweat and sacrifice is palpable in the dozen potent tracks, which further the dramatic alt-metal meld forged on 2006’s Vol. 1. Singer J. Loren goes so far to say that Hurt’s music has the power to save lives: “I know that’s not unfounded, because people have written to the band and told me that.” And it’s saved his life—“I’m compelled to do it. I have no other functionality in this life,” he states unequivocally. His goals for the band are equally forthright: “I want to invoke feeling. Period. If listeners feel good, if it compels them to tears… If all you can think about is a song for five minutes at a time, I’m happy to be that distraction. I’ve wasted my whole life to be that.”Vol. II’s ‘first single, “Ten Ton Brick,” can actually be considered the third single—if you look at Vol. 1 and Vol. II as a body of work. “I would have released both albums together, but for a young band, that’s too ambitious. These Volumes are not concept albums—my life is not a fucking concept,” declares Loren, his direct personality as intense onstage as off. “Both records are like a collection of short stories. They often intertwine and cross-reference each other between the albums. Some of the songs were written 10 years ago, some this year, but our songs are often situational, and about irony and age-old truths, so I return to themes that are important to me.” For instance, Vol. II’s “Aftermath” is a companion piece to “Ten Ton Brick,” both songs on Vol. II, the pair akin to a “movement” in classical music. Vol. II’s ‘Summer’s Lost” is related to “House Carpenter” on Vol. 1…which the listener can discern by playing “House Carpenter” backward.
Togetherness was key to Vol. II. Although the sessions were exhaustive, the lineup, together for four years, got along better than they ever had. “Through adversity we’ve done this and I’m really proud of it. When you can’t afford to eat and you work 18 hours a day for six months, I’d call that adversity.” At the production helm (as he was for Vol. 1). was Eric Greedy (Ringo Starr, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Barbra Streisand), who, in tandem with Hurt, realized Vol. II in several studios around Los Angeles. While it wasn’t always smooth sailing, that’s what gives Vol. II—and the band members—a discernible audio edge.
Vol II. will be in stores Sept. 25th
Listen to “Ten Ton Brick” here!
9/22 Pittsburgh, PA @ TBA
9/24 Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
9/25 Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
9/26 Libertyville, IL @ Austin’s
9/27 Maplewood, MN @ The Rock
9/30 Maryland Heights, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
10/2 Louisville, KY @ Headliners
10/3 Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
10/4 Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
10/6 Noblesville, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center