Sound — 9
Halestorm debuted less than five years ago with their debut full length release, but they've made an impressive impact on hard rock already. Lzzy Hale is conceivably the Joan Jett of our generation, but only time will tell for sure. While Halestorm have only released 2 full-length albums, they have released 2 live albums and "ReAniMate 2.0" will be their 6th EP, and their second to be comprised solely of covers. There are 6 tracks on the album, and the EP clocks in at just a little over 20 minutes. Like their previous cover album, Halestorm's straight up energy in their approach to the covers really pushes the EP to the level of awesomeness. The album opens up with "Dissident Aggressor," which is a Judas Priest cover, originally from their 1977 album, "Sin After Sin." This is a "fairly" loyal cover, but Lzzy's screams and the more modern guitar sound gives it some new character. Next up is "Get Lucky," which is a Daft Punk cover from their 2013 album, "Random Access Memories." What Halestorm does with "Get Lucky" is change it up from a synth pop track to a slow-burning hard rocker. "Shoot to Thrill" is up next, which is (of course) an AC/DC cover from their 1980 album, "Back in Black." This is definitely the most loyal cover to the original, but it still stands out for some reason I can't put my finger on. "Hell Is for Children" is a Pat Benatar cover, which was on her 2nd album, "Crimes of Passion," which was released in 1980. Halestorm's cover of this song really comes across like a totally different type of song, and unfortunately it does lose some of the emotion of the original in the translation. "Gold Dust Woman" is a Fleetwood Mac cover, originally released on their 1977 album, "Rumors." I did enjoy that for the most part they kept this as a straightforward cover (making this probably the least heavy song on the EP). This is another one that really lets Lzzy show her vocal ability. The EP closes out with a cover of "1996," which is a Marilyn Manson cover from the album "Antichrist Superstar," that ironically was released 1996. This song is fairly re-worked from the original in overall sound, and while staying vaguely in the same musical ground as the original they definitely make it their own.
Lyrics — 9
Lzzy Hale definitely has a strong voice and she has picked an awesome collection of songs to show it off. Vocally, I was probably most impressed with "Hell Is for Children" as this was one of the few songs were Lzzy shows she can sing "pretty" as well as get a good rock and roll growl going on. The cover of "Gold Dust Woman" also gave Lzzy the opportunity to do something that is probably a little bit outside of her comfort zone, and she killed it. It seems like it would be redundant to discuss the lyrics too much on a covers album.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm a big fan of Halestorm for a few different reasons - some of those reasons being that rock music needs a strong front-woman somewhere in the mix who is a guitar player as well as a voice, and that while Lzzy has occasionally used herself as a sex symbol she also hasn't relied on that completely but has made some good music. I liked their original "ReAniMate" EP, and I like this one even more. All the tracks are well done, and the band seemed to respect what the original artist was doing, even if they did change it up a little bit. My favorite tracks from the EP would be "Gold Dust Woman" (mainly because it is new area for Halestorm), and "Get Lucky" because they really changed up the overall sound of that track while seeming to retain the underlying "feel" of the track. While I thought that "Hell Is for Children" sounded good, I did feel like they lost some of the emotional impact of the original, so in that regard I would have to say that is my least favorite track. Overall, I really enjoyed the album and for the small price tag, it is definitely a worthwhile buy.