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.