Exclusive stream: Flash, “Hurt” from Featuring Ray Bennett and Colin Carter (2013)

Flash, together again after four decades, take on a song that’s already been defined (as a Nine Inch Nails original) and then redefined (with Johnny Cash’s harrowing third-act re-do) — and yet they still find new revelations.

Original bassist Ray Bennett, who has now switched to guitar, is joined by fellow Flash co-founder Colin Carter on this sweeping new version of “Hurt” — available here as an exclusive advance stream. Flash is rounded out by keyboardist Rick Daugherty, drummer Mark Pardy and bassist Wayne Carver on the forthcoming Featuring Ray Bennett and Colin Carter, due May 21, 2013, from Cleopatra.

Along the way, they combine the whispering fragility of NIN’s version of “Hurt” and the Cash remake’s stoic agony, even while adding a new musical narrative that takes the song on a stirring anthematic journey.

It’s the group’s initial project since the passing of original guitarist Peter Banks, who had earlier co-founded Yes. Mike Hough rounded out the initial early 1970s lineup, which saw its self-titled debut go to No. 33 in 1972.

That same year, Flash’s single “Small Beginnings” went to No. 29; the song has since been included in the film “Record Review” and on the compilation Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots Vol. 10 from Bob Stroud.

A pair of albums followed, 1972′s In The Can and 1973′s Out Of Our Hands, but by November of ’73, the group was no more. A belated 1997 compilation, Psychosync, included live performances from appearances on WLIR and at the Midnight Special TV program.

Flash’s return on Featuring Ray Bennett and Colin Carter also includes a new update of “Manhattan Morning,” from the band’s 1973 finale, as well five new originals from Ray and Colin, two instrumentals and the NIN cover.

Of this long-awaited return, Carter says: “It’s left brain/right brain rock. Enough skill, detail and finesse to tease the intellect, mixed with enough raw power to send you skidding out of control across the stage on your knees and crashing into amps. Watch out for the splinters!”

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.