Reanimate: The Covers EP
8 out of 10
Ok, so you put an even remotely attractive woman on a stage, and I’m pretty much hooked from the get go. Sexist? Probably… But I’ve got a thing for women on stage. Sue me.
But when a woman has talent on top and exceeding her looks? Well then you’ve got something for your ears and eyes. Heart, Pat Benetar, Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, Doro Pesch, the list goes on and on, all have amazing talent vocally as well as musically.
So there’s a new breed of women rockers out there doing their own thing… Maria Brink (In This Moment), Otep (Otep), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Alexis Brown (Straight Line Stitch), again the list goes on and on. And hot on their heels is the newest female fronted band… Halestorm.
Fronted by Lzzy Hale the band features her brother Arejay Hale, Joe Hottinger, and Josh Smith. They have released a solid self titled debut which charted well for them as well as got them enough notice to put them on the main stage of last year’s Uproar tour with Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour.
The Band has released a new EP of covers to tie their fans over until they can finish their follow up full length album.
An EP of covers from a band with only one album out seems to be a risky move to me. If you’re trying to keep your name in the forefront of your fan’s minds then maybe a live DVD (the label already put out a live album of theirs a year after their self titled album came out as their singles finally began to chart and hit with the public), or an EP of acoustic reworkings… something that is yours, not copies of other songs seems to be in the band’s best interest to me. But then I’m not some big label head honcho either. Whatever.
That being said, let’s look at the songs chosen for the EP:
All I Want to do (is make love to you) by Heart, Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, Hunger Strike by Temple Of The Dog, I Want You (she’s so heavy) by The Beatles, Out Ta Get Me by Guns & Roses, Slave To The Grind by Skid Row. So this young upstart band definitely has some balls to it. From pop dance to classic rock, and grunge to sleaze rock. The song selection alone intrigued me. How would they do actually covering the songs?
Well, the Heart cover was pretty much straight forward, and done very well. Bad Romance seems to be the hardest one to cover. How do you take a rock band and throw in a dance song and make it sound good? I don’t know. Really… this should be a recipe for certain disaster, but Lzzy and the boys actually pulled it off and very well. This may actually be the highlight of the EP. Being able to turn a Lady Gaga song into a rock n roll monster? Hats off to Halestorm for doing it, and doing it well.
Oddly the Lady Gaga cover has caused less controversy and dissent from the internet trolls than their decision to cover Temple Of The Dog. I’m sorry, but when did Grunge become gospel? And if a band can run the gamut between classic Beatles, to Modern day dance pop, and everywhere in between why can’t they take on grunge too? I mean who made TotD the sacred cow anyway?
It’d be one thing if the band didn’t pull off the song. Or heaven forbid took a dance song and made a rock song out of it, only to take a grunge song and make a dance hit out of it!!!! But Halestorm sticks to the basics and pulls off a decent remake of a very good song. I will say that it does lose a little passion when Lzzy sings it over Eddie Vedder, but it isn’t a bad version by any means.
The Beatles song may be the only song I take umbrage with and that is only because it runs on too long and gets a bit monotonous at the end. But the first 4 minutes of the song are… the ballsiest the band has every sounded to me.
Out Ta Get Me is sleazy and dirty, but a little unremarkable compared to the rest of the songs on the EP.
And I may have to go back and listen to their debut, but I think Slave To The Grind may well be the heaviest thing the band has done. And heavy they do well. Would love to see this one live. I can totally see Lzzy standing their snarling out the lyrics to this, and I’m sure this summer that’s exactly what we’ll see.
So other than the odd choice of putting out a covers EP, the project works. A solid 8 from me for this, and that is only because Hunger Strike and Out Ta Get Me left me a little flat.
You can pick up Reanimate The Covers EP here.
For more HALESTORM click here.