There are some songs that you can’t help but headbang to at stoplight and play the air drums (or guitar) to while hiding in your cubicle at work. Halestorm’s sophomore album, “The Strange
Case Of,” is loaded with them.
In the three years since the release of their self-titled first album, Halestorm has released two EPs (“ReAniMate:The CoVeRs eP” and “Hello, It’s Mz Hyde”) and has toured nearly nonstop with
groups such as Seether, Shinedown, Chevelle and several others. Despite moving forward in their career, however, Halestorm has stayed remarkably close to the musical style that originally drew their fans in.
Songs like “Love Bites (So Do I)” and “Freak Like Me” showcase the exquisite guitar talents of Joe Hottinger and captivating rhythms of drummer Arejay Hale that helped characterize the group’s first album — and bass player Josh Smith’s skills certainly don’t fall to the wayside in comparison.
Lead vocalist Elizabeth “Lzzy” Hale (Arejay’s older sister) still brings a gritty sexiness to Halestorm’s songs that are sometimes hard to comprehend, but talent shines through nevertheless. Lzzy is perhaps the band member whose growth is the most apparent; her vocals still vary between yells and something more melodic, but her range seems to have expanded. There are times (and whole songs) in which Lzzy’s voice is completely gentle and sweet, such as in “In Your Room” — a far cry from the eerie and hardcore grime of the album’s second track, “Mz Hyde.”
Despite being more of the same in terms of style, “The Strange Case Of” is a strong second album and, if anything, is exactly what Halestorm’s fans have been waiting for.