HALESTORM – REANIMATE 3.0: THE COVERS EP
Released: Jan 06, 2017
℗ 2017 Atlantic Recording
- Still of the Night
- Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover
- I Hate Myself For Loving You
- Fell On Black Days
- Ride the Lightning
Otherwise known as – Halestorm causes Casper to lapse into some obscene vernacular. Again.
What perfect timing for Halestorm to release a covers EP. Just when we are recovering from the relentless aural assault of All I Want For Christmas, seemingly now a tradition around yuletide…many months around yuletide ensuring that the ear piercing G5 has no sooner left us and its back with a vengeance. And we do bear witness to some interesting attempts at the high notes from the vast horde of those willing to ‘Mariah up’ in the festive spirit but are sadly left lacking the lyrical lobules, or failing to remain abreast of skills required. Nevertheless, Halestorm and their latest collection of covers are welcome relief and music to the ears. (Truth be known, I actually want to hear a Lzzy Hale ‘All I Want For Christmas’…Shhh!)
I am certain that we are all acutely aware of the fact that recording covers is a risky business. Those in the Halestorm ‘know’ are also cognisant of the bands history, experience, knowledge and prowess. Like yours truly, we ‘freaks’ feel nothing but the utmost excitement with the news of new release of any description from our beloved Halestorm. This particular EP is no exception to that rule, save for the awareness that some heavy hitters are represented on this collection, so there will be the unavoidable barrage from abusive purists, all appalled at the breaking of the mould. But it’s within the heart of that very argument that Halestorm unfurl their true genius and musical excellence. Our sensational, rocking siblings are no newcomers to the familiar taste of poison, and merged with the melodious mastery and equanimity of Joe and Josh, will veritably just do what Halestorm do in the face any adversity, namely rock, bewilder and amaze. Lzzy and Arejay have matured together, musically and metaphorically, forming a shining example of ‘we are going to rock you and overcome any obstacle to do so’. Although they may remove a few verbal niceties and add the odd expletive.
So, nay-saying-skeptics, save your breath because Halestorm are so acclimatised, they actually miss the misery and may even get off on you.
This EP is a masterclass in the mysterious and elusive art of successfully celebrating the original protagonist, doing justice with every note and yet absolutely ‘owning’ their cover version by entwining their own unique sound and nuances until reaching symbiotic perfection.
Intensely, ferociously and immediately Lzzy takes us verbally by the goodies and actually creates a feeling of swelling excitement in my chest with her astonishing vocal ability. I tried to keep composed and the increasing feeling of glee contained, but as Joe, Josh and Arejay join in at the four-second mark, I freely confess a loud exclamation of ‘FUCK YEAH’ could be contained no further. Ah…ahem…excuse me. I’ll try that again. Lzzy continues to impress with her astonishing vocal power and range, and accompanied by her band of tremendously gifted artists………..(blah, blah, blady blah)
No. No, no, no, no, no. I’m only four seconds in and already sell Halestorm short without a review full of “fuck it”, “fuck yeah”, “rock n fucken roll”, “fucking awesome shit, fuck me Halestorm fucken rule’ all typed with one fucken hand because I’ve got my fist to the sky and throwin’ my horns.
Phew…ok. Sorry. I stopped typing because the aforementioned sensation did not cease through all six offerings, repeated five times. I’m calmer now and beg your forgiveness for my uninhibited and rather vulgar outburst. The fact is that those who have witnessed Halestorm performing live will be whisked back to that thrilling experience with the opening lyrics to Still Of The Night and their sensational delivery throughout this track will have you longing, yearning for the next time you can be at the rock show, you’ll be right in the front row. A Halestorm cover of Still Of The Night by Whitesnake results in a personal ‘be still my heart’.
A calm of sorts awaits in the Sophie B Hawkins hit I Wish I Was Your Lover. Calm, yes, but not a surprise because Halestorm have always been capable of the most magnificent displays of diversity and genre blending in their music. They master all genres as truly magnificent musicians. It’s just that most of the time they like it heavy.
I Hate Myself For Loving You (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) takes us by the scruff of the neck and pulls you rock-wards in the most seductive manner. It struts, is teases and it wiggles its leather clad ass, luring us back into the gritty raw rock and roll. Um… metaphorically speaking. Pardon me, I was thinking aloud again. (Internal dialogue shut up) Just brilliantly executed, but again, taking nothing, borrowing nil and doubling not an ounce, except the beating heart of rock and roll. A tracks rebirth, but to multiple mothers as a blending of the excellence of both bands and their individual sound. A new daughter of darkness?
The Halestorm cover of Heathens by Twenty One Pilots is absolutely sensational as a nod to the original protagonists and their excellent tracks, but afforded a balanced rock edge blessing in its second coming. (Don’t be offended. No reference to Christianity there. Remember? I’m your friend and all your friends are…) The balance of hard rock Halestorm edge and the originals blending of calm reassurance and impending doom, work tremendously. The mix is just perfect for such a range of reasons. I can wait to speak to the band and how they harnessed each track so well.
Fell On Black Days (Soundgarden) and Ride the Lightning Metallica are both extremely exciting and rewarding, but in my opinion, share a common thread of reverence to the original bands. Instrumentally, these two tracks remain quite true to the originals, whilst vocally they are ‘Lzzyfied’ beautifully. But adapted none the less. With Ride The Lightning recorded just four months after Lzzy’s birthday and Soundgarden releasing FOBD exactly ten years later, perhaps these tracks represent the rock goddess that was always growing within. Perhaps so significant in her early life rehearsals in preparation for a magnificent career, the most familiar voice, her own, dulls out the original to a degree. All the while the remainder of the band pay homage to the original legends. Or perhaps I just think about shit WAY too much. That’s ok. I’m a freak.
In reflection, Rock Show is the perfect point of reference for me in describing the effects of this thrilling ep. Rock Show from the bands 2012 album The Strange Case Of…, lyrically provided an account of feelings and atmosphere elicited by a live band performance and with ReAniMate 3.0 The CoVeRs eP, we find the tables turned and roles reversed. Rather than Lzzy vocally describing what we have all experienced in the past, or that person we know (Lynda), this time Halestorm draw out of the listener and feeling of urgency to seek out a Halestorm show to feel firsthand the power and thrill that is conjured with this work. A need rooted in experience but fed, and enhanced by the mastery of the bands existence as individual entities, and a collective force of pure rock and roll, celebrating music influential to them. This would perhaps explain the collage of multiple personalities represented on the fantastic cover art. Or that’s just the face of a freak? My most satisfying discovery is that my personal excitement in the first four-seconds, did not diminish one ounce to the end.
Produced to absolute perfection by Nick Raskulinecz, this EP is a sensational way side stop along the highway to the next maginifcent Halestorm album. Heres to us, fellow blessed recipients.
Luckily, I only must wait a week to experience the brilliance of Halestorm again in Australia and this EP heightens the excitement so much so that a week is scarcely bearable. See you next Tuesday.