The Strange Case Of…
By Ellen Eldridge
Hard-living, ass-kicking women who are also attractive and able to sing are just what this world needs more of, and this is exactly what Halestorm’s front woman, Lzzy Hale, brings to the table with The Strange Case Of…. The single, “Love Bites (And So Do I),” punches the listener square in the face and invigorates him for the rest of the high-energy opening tracks. Two touring-packed years after the band’s self-titled debut, Hale says, “I was extremely proud of Halestorm when we released it, and I still love it, but I think I was using mostly one musical technique throughout.” “We were on ‘ten,’ and we blew through the songs in a safe way – or as safe as something that goes, ‘I get off on you getting off on me’ can be. This new record demonstrates more depth and heart. It’s a lot more expressive and really lets down the barriers.”
“I Miss the Misery” will resonate with many young women – and men – who feel a lack of emotional drama when finally ending an abusive or co-dependent relationship. Lines like, “I’d rather fight all night than watch the T.V.” hit home when we think back on the relationships we knew we should have ended sooner. The song’s message and its composition ‘kick in the face’ as its lyrics indicate with power and vocal strength that doesn’t compromise melody.
By the seventh track out of 12, “Break In,” Halestorm has already rolled over its audience proving its penchant for power and pulse, so this much more mellow track shows off the ballad writing quality of the band.
The chorus to “Daughters of Darkness” really touches on the themes in the music on this album, “We can turn you on or we can turn on you.” The last three tracks also work to sum up the recurring ideas of ‘tough chick’ in “You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing,” fun-loving radio rock in “American Boys,” and ballad-writing life-loving songs with just one f-bomb in the chorus in the album closer. As much as it represents the band, “Here’s to Us” was actually an afterthought. “It came together after we already thought the album was complete,” Hale says. “It’s our ‘bottom of the ninth, bases are loaded… home run!’ The song is about celebrating the ups and downs of your journey as you go along because even the bad times can be reasons to crack open the champagne.”
Halestorm adds a radio-friendly hard rock album with just enough melody and ballad to prove the band’s versatility. “We’ve taken everything we can do and stretched it in both directions,” Hale says. “This record goes from one song that’s just vocal and piano and the lowest and softest I’ve ever sung all the way up to the highest notes and craziest screaming I’ve ever done.”
As musically advanced as The Strange Case Of… is compared to Halestorm’s debut, the band still has plenty of growth left in them and continue to write songs at an alarming rate. “I create all the time,” Hale says. “And the four of us are working together more now, so we’re really gelling better than ever. We’re really excited with how far we’ve gotten with this album, and we can’t wait to see where we can go in the future. It feels like there are no rules or boundaries, and that’s the ultimate freedom.”