Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hurt - Goodbye to the Machine (Album review)

Goodbye to the Machine
April 7, 2009

Finding quality hard or alternative rock bands in America these days is quite challenging. It’s a brooding and heavy style of music that has gone wayward with the revolution of the music television channels and corporate radio stations. More image, less quality seems to be the motto.

Because of this, decent bands have the opportunity to look brilliant in my eyes. And that’s just what the band Hurt did when I saw them play a live show while I was awaiting a headline act. Lead singer J. Loren puts an awful lot of emotion, anguish and energy into his act and it’s absolutely gripping.

With Goodbye to the Machine, hurt has now released five studio albums. And here’s the thing. By no stretch is this album bad. The problem for me is that it doesn’t quite resonate to me like their 2006 release Vol. 1 did. After seeing Hurt live and hearing Vol. 1, I was hooked and had their record spinning constantly. I trouble myself in trying to find the right word for what their latest album doesn’t have that their previous efforts had, but it’s one of those unspeakable sort of things that doesn’t allow for the music to leave your memory. The new album lacks that strong hook.

What Goodbye to the Machine doesn’t lack is effort and emotion. The energy is sincere and the talent is prevalent. Hurt has always centered their songs around the construction of their emotions, and the newest album is no different. It’s absolutely refreshing to hear some meaningful and honest words these days. The group absolutely know how to construct a song and with J. Loren’s unique addition of violin (he uses it during live shows as well) the band has something that sets them apart from the pool of lookalike bands.

Not every album from a band can be golden, and I understand this. The group is still fairly young in its development and with the talent, energy, drive and ability these men have, the band can go a long ways in establishing itself as a premiere group of the heavy/alternative rock genre.

Until then, I’ll keep giving this album a try. It’s worth a listen or two, that’s for sure. If it doesn’t work out in the end, I’ll just keep replaying their past brilliance and wait around until their next album.

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