Label: Roadrunner 2012
Review by Alan Holloway
“I have a feeling there’s a better second album coming from Halestorm,” I mused in 2009 after hearing the Pennsylvanian band’s first album. Although it was good, it was all a bit stadium rocky with a girl singing. Close, but no banana, as they say. To be honest, they fell right off my radar until recently, when a friend insisted that their new album would be right up my street, pushing a copy at me before running off and kicking a puppy. I need new friends, I know, but I am glad he gave me the CD as it’s as good as anything I’ve heard so far this year.
“The Strange Case Of…” inspired by Jekyll & Hyde in that it showcases, apparently, two sides of the band, grabs you from the off and doesn’t let up. Vocalist Lzzy Hale (still can’t afford that extra vowel) almost beams with attitude, like Avril Lavigne when she was hungry and up for a bit of ass kicking. Gone is the safe stuff as well, leaving some nicely paced rock tracks that straddle melodic rock and modern punk pop with a healthy dose of pure exuberance. When they slow it down for “Here’s To Us”, it still works beautifully, and this song should one day make them a fortune if there is any sort of deity looking over rockers. If you want to get a good idea of what Halestorm 2012 are about, just check out the lead track and single “Love Bites (& So Do I)” on YouTube and it pretty much sums up the hunger, melody and sheer brass balls that the band have cultivated since the debut.
Not to be dismissed as a band for young people with a pretty girl singing, Halestorm have produced an album that does not let up for a second, and I seriously can’t stop playing it. They get away with titles like “Rock Show” and “American Boys” without losing credibility, and quite frankly stand head and shoulders above any other young American band out at the moment. As close to perfection as this sort of music gets, and for that they get my first 10 of the year, and I’m now off to listen to it again.