Happy New Year Decibel Geeks! Time to dive into my first assignment for 2017, a review for the just released Halestorm ReAnimate 3.0 EP. As the number implies this is the third installment of “cover song” EP’s that Halestorm have delivered as a stop-gap between full-length studio albums. There are some that don’t particularly enjoy cover albums, and sometimes for good reason. That said, if done well (Def Leppard‘s Yeah and Halestorm‘s ReAniMate 1.0 and 2.0!) they can be downright more fun than a hot dog and a shake! So when I got wind that ReAniMate 3.0 was on the way, I cornered the Decibel Geek Editor and called dibs on this review.
There is something so special when a “rock star” doesn’t lose the innocence of being a “rock fan” and honestly there aren’t many that don’t. Dave Grohl comes to mind, Sebastian Bach comes to mind. Wind these guys up and start talking about bands and music that they love and watch the enthusiasm and passion boil over. To fully understand exactly what I am talking about go You-tube Skid Row/Rob Halford on Saturday Night Live and watch Baz geek out with his hero Rob Halford. Lzzy Hale is totally one of those “rock stars”. She never fails to “geek out” with her rock heroes at every opportunity and that is just one of the many reasons that make her so badass!
“In the still of the night, I hear the wolfhound honey, sniffing around your door! In the still of the night, I hear my heart beatin’ heavy, telling me I gotta have more!” Hearing Lzzy belt out the intro to Whitesnake‘s classic Still Of The Night and I am already SOLD. Every bit as powerful as the Snake, Halestorm keep pretty true to the original but it sounds fresh and revitalized for a new generation to seek out. KILLER COVER!
Another thing I love about the ReAnimate series is the diverse choices that Halestorm pull out of their hats and 3.0 is no different. Surprise number one is the Sophie B Hawkins cover of “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”. Never one to shy away from big vocal tunes (C’mon she handles DIO and Judas Priest like a fucking champ!) Halestorm add just enough snarl to make it that much cooler. GREAT COVER.
Joan Jett‘s “I Hate Myself For Loving You”. Kind of tough to out cool Joan but a great choice none the less and I would love to see the two of them trade vocals on this one live. GREAT COVER!
Twenty One Pilots‘ “Heathens”. I will be completely honest here, I have never heard of Twenty One Pilots and had no idea if I had even heard the original before listening to the Halestorm version. As it turns out the original is actually from the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack and after hearing the original version, it is safe to say I now know why I have never heard of Twenty One Pilots. Boring, lifeless and although it may have fit into the movie nicely, it did nothing to engage me musically. Halestorm‘s version, however, injected some life into the melody. Crazy how some actual guitars can add emotion, feeling, and soul into a melody line. SOLID COVER!
Soundgarden‘s “Fell On Black Days”. My opinions of the Seattle scene during the nineties has been well documented. Early Soundgarden is certainly an exception to my general disdain for the “grunge” era and “Fell On Black Days” is simply a great song. Halestorm once again stay true to the original version and I am noticing a pattern now with the ReAniMate CDs. GREAT COVER!
Oh my lord, when I read the track listing of the EP, I almost skipped ahead to hear the last tune. I am glad I was patient and waited to hear Lzzy take on the mighty ‘Tallica with their rendition of “Ride The Lightning”. With so many more commercial Metallica options available, I was stoked to hear them rip into some classic thrashtallica! I probably shouldn’t have been surprised here, I mean Lzzy and the guys chose Priest‘s “Dissident Aggressor” on the last one. All the intensity of the original, maybe just a tiny bit more melodic, maybe not but I was “head o banging” all the way through and loving every minute of it. KILLER COVER!
That pattern I noticed regarding the Halestorm ReAniMaTE series. It seems to me that the truly great rock songs that they select to cover get very little tinkering (Metallica, Priest, Soundgarden, Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac, etc.) the curveballs (Lady Ga Ga, Daft Punk and now Twenty One Pilots) get a Halestorm injection of rock n’ roll energy. Some may debate whether or not they were improved upon or not but for this writer the only Daft Punk tune I am spinning is the one with Lzzy Hale on vocals! Looking forward to 4.0!