Hurtsmile, Self Titled, 2011
Singer Gary Cherone is probably best known for his work with the band Extreme. But besides a sadly very misunderstood album with Van Halen (III) he has been involved in many more things, a lot of which have found a home in my collection. Hurtsmile is one where his brother Mark is handling the guitars in. Yet in all honesty, many times during playback I was reminded of his times with Extreme. Especially the criminally underrated Waiting For The Punchline album and the Three Sides To Every Story record.
In my ears, this shares the groove with that big brother. And Mark turns out to be about as versatile as Nuno Bettencourt. Somewhat less of a shredder, but still a talented player. And Gary is, well just Gary. His voice is very familiar, as are his melodies. Also song wise I hear similarities.
And is that a bad thing? Well not for me actually, as I am quite allright with this type of rock. Maybe the references to the work of Extreme makes it more easy for me to get into this. It will not win them an originality contest, but for fans of Extreme or their brand of funked up rock with many clever arrangements, this is a pleasant find. Oh, and the Dylan impersonation in The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner is hilarious…