Halestorm | Atlantic Records | 7/18 | Score: 8/10
▣ By Anthony Coy
If you frequent any sort of rock concert or festival, chances are you’ve seen Halestorm at least once. They are well known for many reasons, one being their ridiculous tour schedule. You can find these guys playing nearly 250 shows a year with top acts like Chevelle, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, and Stone Sour. Starting as a family effort, Lzzy (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Arejay (Drums) have been writing and performing original music since 1997 when they were 13 and 10, respectively. Their dad, Roger, was the original bassist before the actual formation of the band which now includes Joe Hottinger on lead guitar and Josh Smith on bass. Four studio efforts have been released since signing on with Atlantic records in 2005. The newest, Vicious, was just dropped this July.
The first single, “Uncomfortable”, was released in May. It was followed by the song “Black Vulture” in June, and “Do Not Disturb” the week before the full release. Halestorm didn’t reinvent the wheel with this release but have managed to craft their signature rock sound into 12 new songs that don’t feel like reused material but maintain the sound you’ve come to love. Lzzy has one hell of a voice that cannot be mistaken, and she is not shy about letting it out. Her signature vocals are prominently featured throughout this album and even shine in the ballad-esque track “Heart of Novocain.” Lzzy is also a master of old school rock, tongue-in-cheek, dirty lyrics. These are highlighted in the single “Do Not Disturb.” The chorus runs:
“And if I were you I’ll bring your girlfriend too
Two is better than one, three is better than two
Leave a sign on the door, the whole night through
That says “Do not disturb””
Outspoken on female power, sexuality, and mental disease awareness, Lzzy writes stories that highlight these topics and makes sure we keep them forefront in our minds. She has been featured in Revolver magazine doing an “Ask Lzzy” column and frequently does similar things on her Twitter. After losing vocalist Jill Janus to a mental health issue in August, Lzzy spearheaded a Raise Your Horns campaign to spread more awareness in the hopes of curbing the recent uptick in suicide among the music community.
Vicious is 44 minutes of dirty, sexy, rock & roll. I feel like the live energy they bring to the stage has finally been captured on this studio album which is a beautiful thing. These guys rock. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out back stage with Arejay and his drum tech Terry and I was fortunate to catch their set from side stage too. They are real, down to earth, people and amazing musicians. If you’re going to be attending a concert where they’re playing, make sure to catch their set and get this album too. It’s out on all major platforms!
1. Black Vultures
5. Do Not Disturb
7. Killing Ourselves to Live
8. Heart of Novocaine
10. White Dress
12. The Silence
Also, check out their new video for Unconfortable directed by Evan Brace Carlén.