I was given this CD by Halestorm, to try it out, as I wasn’t sure…I almost said no cuz of the mention of many mainstream commercial rock bands listed in the credits whom I don’t like…Nickelback, Shinedown, Theory Of A Deadman, etc…I stay away from that stuff. My taste is powerpop, alt-country and many alt/punk/new wave bands, as well as many female rockers and singer/songwriters, plus the Scandinavian, opera-metal bands fronted by women.
Then I read the reviews, comparing Halestorm to Pat Benatar and Heart, so then I listened, as I love Pat Benatar and Heart…and I’ll tell ya, the reviews were right on!! I’m not a big fan of huge commercial productions, UNLESS the songs and tunefulness is undeniable, and there is a VOICE…well folks, Halestorm fit those qualifications to a T. Even American Idol judge/songwriter extraordinaire Kara DioGuardi cowrote a song here, “I’m Not An Angel”, and it’s good.
I not only hear Pat Benatar, 80s Heart (not so much their 70s work), but also even forgotten, former Atlantic 80s female-fronted band Fiona…BUT Halestorm crank up the decibels and dark drama, and sharpen the edges 10-fold, almost in metal territory, yet they keep their tunefulness intact…Lzzy’s got a voice that can knock over barriers, no doubt about it.
Yes, they are quite mainstream and commercial, BUT Halestorm have more going for them than just being the next female-fronted radio rock band, the next Evanescence…unfortunately, the production is too slick to endear them to L7 fans or Babes In Toyland fans. I can see through these shortcomings and get passed categorization and radio formats, and just see a band for what they truly are and their potential…unfortunately, many people cannot, going by radio formats and just what’s spoonfed to them on VH1 and Metal Shop…I hope they evolve, but they might get stuck in a corner unfortunately, cuz Howard Benson’s hyperslick production is not doing them any favours. Sorry. Good record, better than expected, not a fan of commercial slickness tho.