HALESTORM - 'Into The Wild Life'

Since stepping onto the rock scene with their debut self-titled album in 2009, and taking the world by storm in 2012 with their highly successful ‘The Strange Case Of…,’ Halestorm have grabbed the male dominated rock industry by the throat, and front-woman Lzzy Hale has proven that she can shred the guitar and scream her vocals better than most men in rock could ever hope to achieve. Dressed to the nines in leather and sporting her signature Gibson White and Gold Explorer guitar, Lzzy Hale works best with her younger sibling Arejay Hale on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass, together creating a hard rock quartet with a huge mass following that they like to call their ‘freaks,’ as described in their crowd cheering anthem, ‘Freak Like Me.’ Their newest album, ‘Into the Wild Life,’ was released on Atlantic Records on April 13th 2015 and they’ve come back harder and faster than they had done before. ‘Scream’ is an anthem made for inciting a riot and rebellion and is a great opening track for the album as it’s got an industrial, machine-like hunger element to it, with Lzzy encouraging their fans to rise up against the norm, ‘You’re feeding the fire/that’s taking me higher/coming like a cannonball.’ Women in rock and metal is a rare sight. In ‘I Am The Fire,’ Lzzy Hale takes that stigma and shoves it where the sun don’t shine. You think you’re going to put Halestorm down? You got another thing coming. Hottinger’s dark and smouldering main riff gives off an angst that fuels Lzzy’s hungry, growling and rough vocals and she’s more than right when she sings, ‘screaming like a siren/alive and burning brighter/I am the fire.’ Halestorm thrive on their inner demons and twisted thoughts, recognising that just a little bit of bad, is good. ‘I like it loud/wear it proud/like a crown upon my head.’ Hearing the Sabbath influence in the intro of 'Sick Individual', the songs verses could have done with some more beef to them as the only guitar work in these sections follows the melody of the lyrics, giving the verse a feeling of emptiness. This song lets you know that it’s alright to go a little crazy sometimes. ‘Cause I’m a sick individual/and I’m doing this thing called whatever the fuck I want.’ With ‘Amen,’ it’s easy to see how the country influence from recording in a Tennessee studio managed to slip into their song writing, as their second single off the album is about having the freedom to do whatever it is you want. ‘But I won’t run/I’m not ashamed/It’s gonna take more than this for me to break.’ It could easily be the ‘Here’s to Us’ of the album. ‘Dear Daughter’ is a letter-like poignant ballad to young women everywhere, sending the message that women deserve the same freedom as their male counter-parts. With only a piano behind Lzzy’s angelic vocals, showing that she is incredibly diverse and can turn from roaring tigress to purring kitty within seconds and vice versa, the song echoes something like ‘Break In’ Part II. Unfamiliar to Halestorm, ‘New Modern Love’ and ‘Bad Girls World’ are easy-listening songs with repeated choruses and un-adorned lyrics. Hottinger takes a stab at a guitar solo at the end of ‘Bad Girls World,’ which seems out of place on this track and feels as if it belongs on a bigger, harder and more epic song than this. Perhaps even heavier than 'Love Bites (So Do I),’ ‘Mayhem’ comes in full throttle with Arejay thrashing away behind his drum kit, and Smith’s bass throbbing away on the verses beneath Hale’s vocals. This song is anything but innocent and is merely unforgiving, making it feel as if it were written purely for the headbangers and the air drummers. ‘Gonna Get Mine’ definitely has the most catchiest of melodies on the record, giving it that commercial edge of swagger. Hale sings about her confidence in herself and her sexuality, ‘Naked pictures on my telephone/all my secrets that you weren’t supposed to know.’ But this by no means makes it radio friendly though, with lyrics like ‘Uninvited to my fantasy/so get the fuck out of my legacy.’ Hale takes a step back from her heart-breaker image and instead shows her softer, more vulnerable side with ‘The Reckoning.’ Betrayed, distraught and hungry for vengeance, Hale shows why you should never mess with her or karma. ‘I’m the reaper outside your door/you took everything/and made me feel less than nothing/I’m getting what I came for.’ But Lzzy Hale reverts back to her old self again with their first single off the record, which has Halestorm written all over it. The hard, fast and heavy 'Apocalyptic’ is a raunchy, nasty and provocative number in which Hale expresses her lust and need for excitement in the bedroom. ‘Give me a red handprint right across my ass/I’m leaving scratches up and down your back.’ The second ballad on the album, 'What Sober Couldn't Say,' comes from a seemingly dysfunctional and broken relationship, ‘Criminal in my mind/I been doing time/believing in the lie that you still loved me.’ Alcohol being Hale’s defense mechanism and making her feel comfortable enough to speak her mind, ‘I’m drunk and brave enough to say/what sober couldn’t say.’ An easily relatable song to anyone who may have been in a similar situation and a continuation of the song ‘Dear Daughter.’ Most definitely the best album finisher Halestorm have to date, ‘I Like It Heavy’ has a certain element to it that just gets you ‘head banging in the pit/and throwing my horns.’ This song reminds every fan of why they got into rock and metal in the first place and that there is beauty in the darkness of the music. ‘Some like beautiful, perfect and pretty/I see the good in the bad and the ugly.’ The song is an amen and tribute to the Gods of metal, ‘Just like old school Sabbath, Zeppelin and Lemmy/I need to drop it down low and make it heavy.’ The song has a hidden track on the end of the album; a third ballad if you will. A totally a cappella number sang by Hale herself, it’s a short love story devoted to two rocker lovers, bonding on the idea and lifestyle of rock and roll. ‘If there’s a church it’s rock and roll, if there’s a Devil I sold my soul/and it’s alright, whatever we do tonight.’ Halestorm have definitely taken some risks and daring decisions which may or may not bode well for them but taking risks is what Halestorm do best none the less. The production by Jay Joyce has had an influence on their sound in that they’ve strayed a little far into the mainstream side of things with production techniques not quite well suited to their music. ‘Into The Wild Life’ has some of Halestorm’s best songs on it, while a few here and there feel more like album fillers but at the end of the day, this album is nothing but Halestorm and they continue to prove that they will always do things their way, or no way at all.

#LzzyHale #ArejayHale #JoeHottinger #JoshSmith #Halestorm #IntotheWildLife #Rock #HeavyMetal #JayJoyce

Jazmin L'Amy has asserted her right under the copyright, designs and patents act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.


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