Gary Cherone’s new band’s CD, HURTSMILE, released today

Former Van Halen singer Gary Cherone has teamed up with his brother Mark to write his most succinct record to date, which is released today, February 15th. The self-titled, HURTSMILE hits you like a raw sonic sucker punch to the face!

Hurtsmile is a powerful guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll album. From the opening buzz saw riff of “Just War Theory” to the epic finale of ”Slave” and “Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against the Goads”, Gary continues to move you with his lyrically provocative themes.

The musicians in Hurtsmile have an enormous amount of talent. Like Van Halen, the band is somewhat of a family affair, comprised of Gary Cherone on Vocals (Extreme, Van Halen, Tribe Of Judah, Slipkid), Markus Cherone on Guitars (Flesh, SuperZero, Slipkid), Joe Pessia on Bass (DramaGods, Tantric, Lucia Moniz) and Dana Spellman (Tribe Of Judah) on Drums.

“Hurtsmile was a long time coming… I always wanted to write a record with my brother,” Cherone says. “I’m a big fan of Mark’s songwriting and his snarling guitar riffs. Hurtsmile was about returning to my roots, writing a record in my basement, a straight-up rock ’n’ roll record… but it turned out to be more diverse and ambitious than I expected.”

What does the album sound like? First, it’s similar to Extreme, but it’s apart from Extreme in a sense that it’s not afraid to go in different directions.  For the Extreme fanbase, it’s a little closer to Extreme than Tribe of Judah was. It is definitely influenced by some of the classic rock music that rock fans grew up on, with some smatterings of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bob Dylan and maybe even a little Rage Against The Machine. There’s quite a spectrum of music on the record. It’s chock full of heavy riffs – it’s definitely a hard rock album first – but has some acoustic guitar, acapella, and even a reggae song.

The band has been working on many of these songs for a few years now, and the project was apparently shelved due to the recent Extreme reunion, album, and tour. Thankfully for us, Hurtsmile didn’t leave this material locked away for too long.

And not to worry, Extreme fans. That band is still exists and plans on reconvening in the future despite Hurtsmile and Nuno Bettencourt’s ongoing gig as the guitarist in Rihanna’s band.

As for touring, Hurtsmile will do a U.S. club tour that should kick off on the East Coast, and they’re currently trying to put together a tour for Japan and Europe.

The Van Halen News Desk certainly recommends ‘Hurtsmile’ to rock fans anywhere looking for something some good rock ‘n’ roll right now. We think you’ll dig it!

GET IT NOW! Click to sample or purchase HURTSMILE at Amazon (CD or Download)

Hurtsmile.com / Hurtsmile’s Facebook & Myspace

Track Listing:
1.   Just War Theory
2.   Stillborn
3.   Love Thy Neighbor
4.   Kaffur (Infidel)
5.   Painter Paint
6.   Tolerance Song (Edit)
7.   Set Me Free
8.   Jesus Would You Meet Me
9.   Slave
10.  Beyond The Garden / Kicking Against The Goads
11.  Just War Reprise
12.  The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699)

Below is the video for the album closer, “The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner (4699),” which is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album. The song was inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane,” and tells the story of the 1981 murder of a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (The video contains lots of actual news soundbytes which are not in the album version of the song).

  • http://vhnd Emery

    51504VH I`m with ya. And one more thing I`m sick of music being a compation. Music is not a sport. Music is universal and individual to ones own taste. Rock on.

  • Panama Red

    It’s kinda funny how the comments usually stray way off base (including mine) from the actual topic posted by VHND. I guess it makes it more interesting sometimes…and here I go again…
    I know there are a lot of reasons/theories why Van Halen has been so unproductive in the last 13 years or so, but I thought of another reason which might have contributed to Eddie’s negative attitude and lack of creating more music. Mind you, a lot of this is utter speculation on my part, keep that in mind while reading it.
    I don’t know Eddie, I’ve never had a conversation w/ the dude.

    Having said that, my perception of Eddie, after reading a lot about him over the years and reading interviews from him and people who know him is that he is a very sensitive person, even kind of fragile sometimes, emotionally.
    I don’t mean this as taking a shot at Eddie. I’ll always have love for the dude no matter what, this is just my point of view.
    I’m a big fan of EVH but I can still look at him and the situation w/ VH with an objective set of eyes.

    I believe what a lot of other fans believe about VH3, that it was pretty much Eddie’s solo album, so to speak.
    I believe he finally felt he had a lot of the freedom and control that he always wanted during the recording process. He got to do things HIS WAY for the most part, without compromising or battling w/ other band members and I think he was very proud of VH3 as an achievement that he always wanted to accomplish in this way.
    I think it meant a lot to him to make that album specifically the way he always wanted do an album.
    So my point is, what I think happened, is that when it was less than well received by the majority of fans, critics, etc. compared to ALL of the other albums, it cut him pretty deep. I think this is where his overly sensitive side of his personality comes into play. I think it hurt him so bad because he was at his most vulnerable, as far as putting it out there for the reception of the fans and critics.
    When it wasn’t accepted or celebrated in the way he anticipated it would be, I think it made him disillusioned and bitter to a certain extent towards the fans, the music industry, maybe even the process of making new music at all (to share with the world) and he became somewhat jaded. Remember the Guitar World interview about a year ago w/ Tommy Iommi when Ed said :
    “Why go to all the trouble, spend all of that time in the studio and spend tons of your own money—there aren’t even any record labels anymore to put our shit out—to record a new album when people are only going to complain about it or ignore it or somebody is going to download it from the internet for free? We might not record something new. There’s an element of satisfaction and joy to creating something new, but not when it comes solely at your own expense and when people are just going to shoot it down, no matter what you do.”

    Eddie Van Halen making statements like that and having that mentality upsets me on so many levels.
    I’m not trying to be a downer here because I think Ed’s viewpoint has changed since then, I’m just trying to illustrate my point about him being so affected by criticism and negativity.
    But to elaborate further (yes, I’m going to elaborate even more…it’s me, remember) as to why I think EVH reacted to the aftermath of VH3′s success (or lack of it)
    – put it this way,
    Imagine you are an artist who belongs to a group of 3 other artists who creates paintings and sculptures together and displays the exhibits at art shows around the world. All of your collaborations were always greatly well received and You were always the one who was mostly heralded in high regard as the inspiration and focal point of the artwork. Then you decided to take charge and be the driver at the helm in the next project. You could finally be in control and decide what directions to take the project artistically. You were allowed to finally go solo in the sense that you wouldn’t let anyone else influence your own personal inspiration and ideas that you wanted to utilize in the project. You finally felt you were able to pour your honest and personal feelings into a work of art without having to collaborate much at all with the other artists in the group. So you felt that it was really YOU this time who was on display for the world to see and appreciate.
    And then the art gallery opens it’s doors to your art show. The people come, they experience your exhibit, and the general consensus from just about everyone is – It’s Shit.

    That’s gotta sting for a while.

    I say – make music because you are an artist, do it mainly for yourself but be selfless enough to share it with the world. And if some people don’t appreciate it, well so what? Fuck ‘em. That’s how it goes, you shouldn’t let that stop you from continuing to be an artist.
    Otherwise we will all have to act like the cast on “The Office” from the last episode when Michael Scott was finally screening his movie “Threat Level Midnight” and everyone had to act like they absolutely loved it, so they wouldn’t offend the boss or hurt his feelings.
    It’s like EVH is Michael Scott and we’ll have to be his employees. Just kidding :)

    Some people will like the new Van Halen and some people won’t. Life goes on Eddie, please don’t punish all of us.
    But I really think (and hope) EVH has a different outlook on making new music now. At least that’s the perception I’ve gotten recently from the few “leaked” comments people have made who know Ed.
    I think some of the other guys here at VHND have alluded to this theory about Eddie and the aftermath of VH3, but I elaborated on it ‘cause that’s what I do…as aggravating as that probably is sometimes, heh

  • John

    This is a great album from Gary – good to hear some new music coming from the Van Halen extended family. There is so little good new music these days, let’s support the artists who do make something worth listening to!

  • Rack of What?

    Panama: You forgot a couple of things…….

    Sobriety
    Rehab
    Backslide into drinking
    Cancer
    Divorce (bandmates and wife)
    New love
    Son in band….

    The one thing Eddie needs from MOST critics, is acknowledgement that the last 15 years have been incredibly tumultuous for him. Most of these same things have effected guys like Clapton, Michael Schenker, etc.

    Yes, Eddie has always been critical of the media and record labels, and it effects his psyche. But, I never heard of Led Zeppelin hiding in a hole becaue Rolling Stone would never give them more than 2 stars…..It’s a rather exposing testament to many of the reasons bandmates other than family can’t get along with him. (I know, he’s not the only genius musician that has a hard time with fellow musicians, I’m just sayin)

    Anyway, goin to see Clapton and Lynch Mob next week. The World of Rock continues to turn…….without Van Halen Nation.

  • Panama Red

    @ Rack of What – I didn’t forget those things but I did leave them out of my post, on purpose.
    My post was mainly about One theory/reason in particular. I was focusing on VH3 and the aftermath w/ Eddie.
    In my post I said “I know there are a lot of reasons/theories why Van Halen has been so unproductive in the last 13 years or so, but I thought of another reason…”

    I understand A LOT has gone on in Eddie’s life in the last 13 years. But not so much that he couldn’t have made more music with his band and released at least a couple albums worth of material. But yes, I can understand him taking off a significant potion of time to deal with everything …but 13 years?!
    Remember the incident at NAMM in 2003 when Eddie said something like – I’ve got 10 albums worth of material and someone in the crowd was like – We Just Need One!
    Like I said in an earlier post on another thread, there was a 13 year span in Van Halen where they released the albums VH1 through F.U.C.K.
    That puts it in perspective to just how long it’s been and also how much Great stuff could have been released, which we’ve all missed out on.
    It wasn’t just those additional things you listed that kept him from releasing new music after all this time. That was the point I was trying to make. My point being, there are a lot of reasons we know of but there has to be more that aren’t so concrete, like psychological reasons, like his attitude and point of view of why he should “go to all the trouble” making more music.
    If I was to address all of the other stuff in my post that you mentioned can you imagine how long my post would have been? Hahahahahah
    I guess I could’ve said – Aside from the sobriety, relapse, cancer, divorce, breakup of bandmates, marriage, etc. but I figured most everyone here already knew of those things and I was trying to bring up a more abstract theory which may have contributed to the lack of music on Ed’s part.

    I know Eddie has the prerogative to never release another song for as long as he lives, if that’s what he chooses. I personally don’t understand that mentality. That’s just me, but what do I know? I’m just a fan of the dude, I’ve never even met the guy. But fortunately for everyone, Edward is “On Fire” in the studio or at least that’s what his friends are saying.
    btw there is just one more thing I want to say to you Rack of What – Well, I’ll have some of Thhaaaaaat!!
    ;)

  • freddiegirl

    Holey Moley…Panama Red and his book reports! I love ‘em though; they’re always fun to read.. :) I agree with his asessment (sp?) of Ed’s view of the fans, media and critics. It must’ve really stung to see VHlll tank the way it did. Hopefully getting sober and being in a better place in life helps him to see the more positive side of things. Like that fan at the ’03 NAMM show; we only need one!