Showing posts with label halestorm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label halestorm. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2018

video review: 'vicious' by halestorm

Okay, first to catch up on some old business by posting this, but that's not all that's coming...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

album review: 'vicious' by halestorm

The last time I reviewed Halestorm, it didn't go very well.

Actually, that's probably putting it mildly, given that this a band I've repeatedly tried to get into and have felt consistently let down time and time again, be it by underwhelming writing, unexceptional melodies, or inconsistent production, the last of which utterly crippled any enjoyment I got out of their third album Into The Wild Life, produced by Jay Joyce seemingly before he hit his stride later that year. And from there, I'll freely admit Halestorm has not been on my radar whatsoever. And with their new album... well, it showed up on my schedule and they'd gotten rid of Jay Joyce, but they'd replaced him with Nick Raskulinecz, who you might know better for producing the comeback records for Alice In Chains and chunks of the more mainstream-accessible Mastodon records, and the last underwhelming Rise Against album... and the worst Ghost album.

So okay, not precisely a good sign, and I'll freely admit I was skeptical when I saw the band professing that this was going to be the one where we truly see all sides of the band and this was the one that was going to win us over... and I hate to be that guy, but I've heard this press run before at least twice, and while it seems like a fair number of critics were won over here, I'll admit I had low expectations. So what did we get with Vicious?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

video review: 'into the wild life' by halestorm

Goddamn it, I wanted this album to be better. Joyce, you've had your chances - three strikes and you're out.

Next up, I think I'm finally ready to talk about Tyler. Stay tuned!

album review: 'into the wild life' by halestorm

You know, at some point I'm going to have the time to sit down and make an extended Special Comment on Glee and the effect it has had on popular culture. On the one hand, it cultivated one of the most rabid and insufferable fanbases you could ever find - and this is speaking as one who was once part of it - and the show's treatment of social issues could be questionable at best, even inside the LGBT sphere. Hell, it's one of those shows where the more subtext you extract, the more unsettling it becomes. But on the other hand, it was a show that did play a role in shaping popular music, especially during its prime days on the charts, and it's undeniable it played a role in the indie resurgence that managed to take root in 2012, which I do see as a net positive. Hell, the show even began to build a reputation for breaking indie rock acts, and there was a period for a few seasons where up-and-coming indie acts could have a chance for mainstream success if a Glee cover got traction.

But when I heard that Glee was covering Halestorm, I was a little amazed. See, Halestorm played closer to hard rock and even alternative metal at points, and Glee's refusal to touch most of those genres beyond the safest of possible covers - and the fact that certain rock bands outright refused to be featured - meant that Halestorm was an anomaly... albeit not by much. Their first, self-titled album dropped in 2009 mostly playing as a solid four-piece hard rock act that incorporated some decent sizzling grooves and the impressively versatile and raw vocals of Lzzy Hale. The frustrating thing about that first album is that it was playing very much in the groove that Evanescence and similar acts carved, and the by-the-numbers production and co-writing courtesy of Howard Benson didn't help them stand out. Their second album The Strange Case Of... did show an improvement, if only because the compositions had more variety in the writing and did a lot more to show off Lzzy Hale's range, but again, it was a record that only managed to connect with me in moments, and I'd probably blame Howard Benson's by-the-numbers production more than anything.

In any case, Halestorm is now back with a third album Into The Wild Life, and a new producer: Jay Joyce. To say I have mixed feelings about this is an understatement - for one, he's a producer who has the majority of his credits in country music, and while he has pushed towards experimentation with Eric Church and Little Big Town, I'd argue his production has been hit-and-miss at best, often heavy handed when it doesn't need to be. That said, he might be a solid fit with Halestorm, and in more of a rock environment, his trend towards heavier, thicker sounds could be a natural fit, and give Halestorm some much needed unique instrumental identity. So did we get that with Into The Wild Life?