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On disc: Hurtsmile

Hurtsmile - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Frontiers Records - 2011)

Hurtsmile is featuring Extreme singer Gary Cherone who teamed up with his brother Mark (guitars), Joe Pessia (bass) and Dana Spellman (drums). The foursome is offering an album of 70's / early 80's hard rock with an authentic sound - but also with distorted vocals parts and other surprises.
Songs like Just War Theory and Stillborn make it easy to get into the self-titled debut. Love Thy Neighbor kicks off with a barbershop inspired opening passage, but then invites you onto a sonic roller coaster ride - partly a bit doomy, partly riff-based rock with a positive vibe. This track is as surprising as many Extreme tunes, even if at this one they don't get funky. Kaffur (Infidel) has some Zeppelin-esque elements and shows the talent of Mark Cherone while the rhythm section delivers a perfect playground. Not overly catchy, but it will hook you up! A singer / songwriter tune is Painter Paint, acoustic guitar and Gary Cherone's vocals make this one stick out. Set Me Free is a catchy rocker which you soon will sing along. Jesus Would You Meet Me is a country rock song and pure fun. Beyond The Garden - Kicking Against The Goads has a psychedelic edge and reminds me again of Led Zeppelin... Just War Reprise is a reggae version of the opening track, while the opener has a dash of punk this is offering something completely different. It shows perfectly who different one and the same song can sound. I'm not into reggae, so I prefer the opener.
The closer The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699) is a melancholy tribute to Daniel Faulkner, a police officer (badge no. 4699) killed in Philadelphia in the line of duty. A moving tune, very intensive in it's simplicity and with a touching guitar lead. It combines rock sounds with the storytelling of singer / songwriter tunes. My personal highlight off Hurtsmile!
Fans of Extreme and classic hard rock will enjoy this album! Due to different elements album the album is entertaining, perhaps you won't like every track, but you surely won't be bored by Hurtsmile.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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