The Strange Case Of... review by Halestorm

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  • Released: Apr 9, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.6 (37 votes)
Halestorm: The Strange Case Of...
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Sound — 7
Halestorm bites (But so do we) with their latest release on Atlantic Records, "The Strange Case Of..." With an explosive opening it fails to disappoint, however as the album progresses an all too soft centre is revealed from the Pennsylvanian rockers. After the first 4 tracks: "Love Bites (So Do I)", "Mz Hyde", "I Miss The Misery" and "Freak Like Me", taking a dark, heavy and gritty path, the album seems to be a helter skelter of musical intensity, suddenly turning it from 11 to 1 with 3 soft ballads, "Beautiful With You", "In Your Room" and "Break In". After this it struggles to reach the pinnacle of excellence it achieved at the start with 4 more heavy songs, "Rock Show", "Daughters Of Darkness", "You Call Me A B-tch Like It's A Bad Thing" and the very AC/DC sounding, "American Boys". To finally top off the album we are sent back down the slide again with another binary opposite song, both musically and lyrically, to the start called, "Here's To Us", which also happened to feature on the TV show called "Glee". It's an interesting concept with the album being called, "The Strange Case Of..." obviously being about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, it's apparent it's called this due to the diversity in the album. Ballads aren't always bad however with such a unique opening it comes to an almost creative standstill with the very generically structured slower, more heart felt songs. It makes for an interesting gimmick but as an album in whole it becomes very confusing which direction the band want to take their music.

Lyrics — 5
With every song our excitement rose and we began to ask the question: could this band shoot up to metal stardom? Sadly this dream was thwarted when the dirty lyrics disappeared and turned into something only an Avril Lavigne or "Glee" fan could enjoy. Of course sentimental can be wonderful but with lyrics such as, "I feel beautiful with you", taking the reins Hale reveals a host of generic love ballads with a meaning too soppy for a potential metal star. Whereas the concept of Lizzy Hale becoming Mz Hyde in the album is a clever one lyrically the whole thing is very one dimensional and unoriginal. Hale tries to hard to show that she is the sweet girl covered by a hardcore rock chick exterior who "stands out from the crowd", a character that music has seen too many times before.

Overall Impression — 7
Ultimately, Halestorm have and almost unrivalled opportunity to fill a gap in the music market that screams out for a raw metal group fronted by a talented female vocalist. However "The Strange Case Of..." is all to confusing as we skip from awesome riffs to dull cheese. Halestorm are at a crucial crossroads, if they go "Glee" they will gain a burst of gaudy glitz-ridden fame, which will cause their sudden departure to the pit of pop artist time forgot. We don't to see such a potentially brilliant band die. If they choose the metal route, they could achieve a large, devoted fan base and become a promising, talented addition to a male dominated genre.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Cmd. Cool
    I have to say I agree completely with this review. The album starts incredibly strongly, with four tracks that are as good as, if not better than most of the tunes on their previous album. After this you get too many mediocre ballads and a few more acceptably good rockers with the occaisional moment of excellence, You can hear an evolution in their sound that impresses; Lzzy Hale's vocals are more varied, yet always distinctive, and there are some guitar solos that take a more unusual approach. Overall this album is worth a listen for the first third alone. Hopefully it's paving the way for a more stylistically settled third album, that will really let the potential of this band shine.
    mlukeroberts222
    I can't listen to them on radio or cd, but saw them live with Godsmack and Staind two weeks ago and they are a force as a live band. Lizzy is sexy as hell and can wail, and the drummer was really impressive.
    ryaniomitch
    lzzy has a fantastic voice. the reviewer however is quite right about starting with promise then withering off. However if you get the chance to go see them then do. they are fantastic live. one of the best bands I've seen, especially so young in their career. The only young band with more promise than halestorm that i can think of is foxy shazam.
    XerxesXavier
    Just an opinion Brian. Ofcourse bands can do both mellow and heavy songs on one album, and most albums are made up this way and it works.. I believe Halestorm are good, but not good enough to pull the idea off because their mellow songs are weak and unoriginal. I just don't want them to turn in to a pop rip off band when I feel they have so much potential as a unique rock group, and this is clearly stated in the review if you care to re-read. Anyway, if you would like them to take a different route to what I think they should, that's your opinion.
    MT_Obsidian
    These guys are good live; however, they just can't carry any weight in their recordings. I haven't cared about them since that damn "I Get Off" single was played about 40 times a day on the radio a couple years back.
    420Tool
    You want to know why bands make albums like this? It's because which ever type of song gets picked up by radio (heavy, ballad, poppy song,etc) that's the sound the band will use on their next album to make it mainstream. I mean technically it's the right way to do things if you're trying to make it I guess and money means more than the integrity of your music but to me it's just old fashioned selling out. I have nothing against this band though.
    HighVoltageMT
    There are some duds on the new album, but when the good songs are great! it's like Guns N' Roses meets chick rock. Lzzy Hale has a great voice.
    HarrySound
    Same. Loved the first few tracks but after than it was paint by numbers guitar work. It actually really started to sound alot like Nickelback.
    XerxesXavier
    Yeah, I do understand its a concept album but they can't pull it off, the mellow songs are far too frequent and dont stand out in any way possible. My point was they need to decide whether they are metal or radio rock because the messages displayed in the songs juxtapose eachother. They aren't good enough to pull it off.
    HeavyMetalSonic
    EpiExplorer wrote: More radio rock.
    Exactly. I explained that to my girlfriend before it came and sure enough, she was disappointed when she got it. Mainstream radio rock is always a rip off because they suckered into buy a whole CD because of one or two hits.
    Brian021
    I'm not sure the reviewer gets the whole Jekel/Hyde thing here. Ah..it's a split personality dude! An absolutely brilliant piece of work this record is. There are hundreds of bang your head against the wall, so so albums dumped on us every year that are simply the same sounding crap over and over again...some f'd up version of Nickleback or Shinedown. Halestorm is pure talent, doing what ever the F they please because unlike the soundalikes, they can! In fact, they're the only band that could pull this off. They have worked their butts off for the last ten years! They're no flash in the pan, no sellout and certainly not paint by the numbers. This is an amazing talent that will be around for years to come. They've got you all listening, don't they?
    Brian021
    XX, Why do think that there needs to be a decision? Are you so narrow minded that you can't accept a band that does both? They've been played in ever city on both metal and rock radio stations since they arrived in 2006. And...I beg to differ but results, ie. charts and sales, are proving your, "Not good enough", comments inaccurate. #1, as good as it f'n gets, as you were typing last week! See you at the Grammy's and the Revolver awards
    slashermaster
    I saw these guys open up for Disturbed and Avenged in '09. The coolest thing about them (I found) was the drummer.
    judo_john
    Exactly my thoughts. Starts off really good, then it becomes a kinda boring, bland album. still an ok listen, but its not quite what i was hoping for. maybe the next album will be more impressive and well rounded.