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18.4.12

Halestorm - 'The Strange Case Of...' (roadrunner) 4/5

I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this, the second full length album from Pennsylvania rockers Halestorm for a while now. After all I was more than a little blown when their 'Hello, It's Mx Hyde' ep hit the stacks at the turn of the year.

So was it worth the wait? Well lets just say this album comes out of the corner swinging. The triple whammy of the cuts Love Bites (and So Do I) with its full on old school hard rock sensibilities, Mz Hyde with its Diamond Head style riffage coupled to some sweet commercial rock and boogie beats and the back side booting power rock anthem of I Miss The Misery leave the listener in no doubt at all that Halestorm are on helluva band and they mean hoof buttock with the most serious of intentions.

And there's more. You get cuts like the teen angst anthem Freak Like Me, the wonderfully danceable Rock Show (my personal fave cut on the album) and superb headbangably frenzied You Call Me Bitch Like It's A Bad Thing; all of which are fantastic exercises in old school hard rock with a modern twist.

OK there are a few sour moments, there middle of the album is dominated by a trio of power ballads, Beautiful With You, In Your Room and Break In, all of which are fairly naff sounding sub Fleetwood Mac lighter waving radio friendly soft rock numbers that really do the band no favours at all and go some way to undo all the good work they have done on the albums heavier cuts. Add in the closer Here's To Us, which sounds a bit too Theory of Wifebeater for comfort, and the band come damn close to dropping the ball. But fortunately when Lzzy Hale and the boys are capable of pulling a cut like American Boys out of the hat when you need them too you know things ain't that bad.

Basically, Halestorm are one great rock and roll band, and a pretty ordinary bunch of soft rockers and with this album if you listen to the former and ignore the latter your in for a bit of a treat.

Pretty damn good all things considered

For fans of... Paramour, Psycho Kiss, Black Veil Brides, The Dirty Youth etc....