Halestorm - Into the Wild Life
The Pennsylvania rockers, known for their hard hitting rock numbers full of attitude and catchy riffs, have brought their third album of just that. Chock full of of gritty guitar, quintessential Lzzy attitude and unmistakeable Halestorm ear worms tinged with the blues this will not only impress the diehard fans, by changing things up some new dimensions to their already established sound they will be broadening their fan base with this effort you feel.
Starting with the atmospheric Scream, the album hints at new and exciting things, with a slightly pop/dance laced backing track before the inimitable Lzzy chanting begins and the vocals make a break through. Almost a 70’s throw back at points this one is interesting, name dropping the freaks (Halestorm fans nickname) and using effects pedals with abandon. It is definitely their track but yet somehow different too.
I Am The Fire is next up, offering a softly, softly approach before soul baring lyrics follow, a real stand up and hear me shout kind of track. One for women everywhere, it touches on what Lzzy does best. An anthem in the making the guitar here is catchy, slightly dirtier as the track hits it peaks the heavier drums Arejay provides encapsulating it nicely. At just past the two minute mark the Lzzy screams begin in earnest injecting that attitude that had been lacking so far by the bucket load. Very much I am woman, hear me roar, it's a track suited for the live setting.
On Sick Individual Arejay's drum wankery leads into a sludgy, almost 70’s Black Sabbath guitar interjections; this really shows their live performances in an album environment. Whimsical yet severe in presentation the lyrics again present the attitude that Halestorm are so well known for. Lzzy’s vocals; the siren call, her trademark screams enticing the listener to come close and be taught a lesson. All surrounded by a gritty riff that is ear pleasing to the extreme.
Dear Daughter is a soft, harmonious number that sends prickles down the spine, one of unity, a simple message of love, lessons learned and positivity that speaks to the heart of troubled, lonesome teenage girls the world around. One of solidarity and support, once more soul baring, as with most Halestorm songs, the emotion flows from Lzzy as she sings her heart out declaring the strength and passion needed to get through. I imagine her sat there talking to her future daughter, her sound, the song all of it overflowing with heart and emotion. A small amount of calming, blues style guitar, remaining mostly focused on keyboard and few sound effects make this a heart-warming and pleasant interlude to the heavier stuff.
Mayhem is a more traditional Halestorm offering; right from the off chunky guitar riffs, heavy drums, catchy lyrics have at you with heavy bass make this an out and out hit. A get up and bounce number it leaves you a little breathless after some immense guitar twiddly heaven and bombastic drums that signal the arrival of a much loved and popular tune in the making. The same stands for For the Freaks - there are some nice surprises in there. The band have lived up to their promise to provide Easter Eggs throughout and to get across their stage presence on an album. I think the new recording style has done that, it is much more in line with what you get from a Halestorm concert, which is only a good thing.
An honourable mention here for Gonna Get Mine which is an immediate ear worm of dirty guitars, dirty lyrics, and downright filthy vocal work from Miss Hale herself. The constant thump of the drums adding depth and an upbeat tempo brings an atmospheric fug of hot and sweaty bumping and grinding to make it all round pleaser.
Lastly I Like It Heavy has an almost ZZ top introduction with a flecks of upbeat pop before the heavier guitar screams in all guns blazing and steady drum work offering a double entendre filled little masterpiece to conclude the album in style and a flourish of jazz hands. But wait. It is not over, Lzzy offers a blues filled, sitting by the Mississippi, sucking down a shot of Jack solo piece to top it off leaving the blues filled atmosphere hanging in the air; redolent of shrimp po boys and crunchy under foot bar floors.
These guys go from strength to strength, doing something new and fresh all the time, be it a change of recording style, gigging hard or making appearances they are quite obviously one of the hardest working bands out there and deserve the success.
Words: Kat Hilton