In the three years since their last studio release, Halestorm have had one hell of a journey. Writing and then scrapping a whole album’s worth of work meant that their fourth record almost didn’t make it. However, they picked themselves up, brushed themselves down and got straight back into it. ‘Vicious’ is the result, and it’s been worth the wait.
Front-Woman Lzzy Hale and her brother, drummer Arejay Hale, spent their childhoods listening to 70s and 80s Hard Rock. This influence is unmistakeable in ‘Black Vultures’. With Lzzy’s powerful vocals and the band’s nostalgic heaviness, the song gives you more of an energy boost than a double espresso. From the first 20 seconds, a beast has awoken and cannot be tamed.
The album focuses on empowerment and self-confidence, which comes crashing through with ‘Uncomfortable’. A thrilling song with lyrics fit for an equality protest, it’ll give you a rollercoaster ride through Lzzy’s vocal range in the space of three minutes.
As we reach the midway point, things start to get… raunchy. ‘Buzz’, ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Conflicted’ are all highly sex-driven, certainly something that isn’t new for Halestorm. On an album all about empowerment, they fit seamlessly as Lzzy takes full control through her fantastic lyrics. Helping to abolish the taboos surrounding female sexuality and make it a norm, the songs set out on a task that goes beyond the track-listing. Unashamedly bold and mastered to perfection, but maybe not the sort of songs you’d want your gran to hear.
Reaching the other side of the kinkiness, you’ll find yourself in much calmer surroundings. ‘Heart Of Novocaine’ is filled to the brim with raw emotion, paired expertly with an acoustic guitar. The song is a delight on the ears, whilst the lyrics sum up everything ‘Vicious’ is trying to do.
‘White Dress’ pumps up the volume once again. It’s a song full of 80s vibes and stereotype-crushing lyrics which throw cliché fairytale princesses firmly in the bin. What more could you want?
The more releases we get from Halestorm, the more Lzzy Hale is becoming the modern-day Joan Jett. You only have to listen to ‘Vicious’ once to know I’m on the right track with that. However, as it is such a diverse album, I hope you would play it a lot more.