The Viper Vibe
'The Strange Case Of...' storms in as strong follow-upThursday, June 07, 2012 By Giovanna Navas/Staff Reporter
Halestorm’s sophomore record, ‘The Strange Case of…’ was a definite step forward from their self-titled debut. While this record did showcase some of what fans know epitomizes the band as musicians such as frontwoman Lizzy Hale’s rough vocals and staccato guitar distortions, we were also given new characteristics which brought about a healthy evolution rather than a complete deviation. The percussion has definitely been amped up, giving the album a more heart-hammering energy than showcased before; this, along with the aggressive lyrics and incredibly harsh diction in the vocals, work together to truly showcase an honest and raw album that tugs at the senses and gives a clear perspective of what is being conveyed. Opening track and leading single, ‘Love Bites (So Do I),’ best exemplifies this as do other tracks including the feisty and omnipotent ‘Mz. Hyde’ and the daring ‘Freak Like Me.’ Although the record does have its upbeat hard rock hits, it still contains its obligatory softer tracks that, surprisingly, didn’t take away from the album at all. Contrarily, it actually strengthened it. They acted almost as air holes, giving the listener a moment to breathe in between while not being too lush. Some examples of this include ‘Break In,’ a strong vocal track instrumentally consisting of a piano – something Halestorm has never done before – and current single ‘Here’s to Us,’ recently covered on the FOX television series ‘Glee,’ which is both vocally and instrumentally climactic and pleasing to the ear. It is very rare, especially with the questionable hard rock albums that have been released as of late, to have an album completely barren of fillers; however, every track on this album sounds like a hit. Unlike the first record, there isn’t a single song on ‘The Strange Case Of…’ that a person would want to skip over. Listening to this album is like completely selling one’s soul to Halestorm for the forty or so minutes that it’s playing. Halestorm has definitely proven that they are stronger than ever and are here to stay. And, unlike so many artists, they didn’t fall into the sophomore slump by releasing a half-baked follow up to a strong debut. ‘The Strange Case Of…’ is undoubtedly a solid and outstanding album, one that may restore honor to the diminishing hard rock genre unfortunately caused by its weak releases as of late. It is raw, honest, emotional and simply brilliant.