THE STRANGE CASE OF...
Sometimes I judge things without ever giving them a chance. This happens primarily because I get 30-40 releases to review. That said, if there's zero in the 1/10 of a second when I see the initial press release that interests me, a release goes low in the review pile. Most times, enough new stuff comes in where I don't end up getting to it. Halestorm is one of those bands that I just missed for what i guess has been 3 years. I remember when their debut came out I thought, based solely on the name of the band, that they were one of those horrible Celtic Folk Metal bands that Nuclear Blast seems to try to force me to like every quarter. I'll admit it, I judged this book by its cover (in this case, their name). Sorry about that.
Apparently it's three years of loss on my part though, as Halestorm is excellent. THE STRANGE CASE OF... is nothing less than adrenaline filled, aggressive hard rock with a female singer that just oozes attitude. I love it, love it, love it! From listening to THE STRANGE CASE OF..., I think I would hate dating someone like vocalist Lzzy Hale, but that in no means says I don't like hearing her tell her tales. Hale is the perfect frontwoman. Her voice is clean when it needs to be, features some attitude fueled snarling when emphasis is needed, and is clearly real with her message from song to song. Tracks like "Here's To Us" and "You Call Me A Bitch Like It's A Bad Thing" are compelling to listen to, yet would scare anyone off from ever trying to date this attitude filled lady. Her singing is the ultimate dichotomy of vocal perfection and overtly pushy feminism that would scare most guys away from even trying to find a bond with her. I'm the first one to realize that doesn't exactly sound appealing, but I assure you it is. Without sounding at all like her, the overall vibe of THE STRANGE CASE OF... that Hale creates reminds me a lot of the jilted lover looking for revenge thing that Alanis Morissette created with JAGGED LITTLE PILL.
That said though, Halestorm is a completely different vibe than Morissette because they are a far superior musical outfit. Putting a description to them musically, they are much closer in sound to bands like Buckcherry than to traditional, female fronted active rock bands.
PITRIFF RATING - 89/100 - THE STRANGE CASE OF... is a very solid effort that will almost certainly entertain any fan of active rock out there today. It's full of attitude, and features the musical chops to match it. Halestorm is one of those bands people should look for in 2012. From the sound of THE STRANGE CASE OF..., they might not be that hard to find.