Hinder – Welcome To The Freakshow
Universal, December 2012
I won’t make this review longer than necessary because Hinder encapsulates everything that I hate about radio-friendly hard rock. The first track, lead single “Save Me”, and “Ladies Come First”, both harmless mid-tempo rockers are about as good as it gets here on the band’s fourth album. Problems are already apparent, however, as the production sucks all feeling and life from the songs. The snare drum is pathetically weak, there’s little to no bass in the mix, and the frequent use of electronic drums and beats is distracting (and downright offensive on “Wanna Be Rich”). What really sets me over the edge are the lyrics, which generally take a lame storytelling form or consist of wallowing in self-pity about relationships and how life sucks. At least half of the songs are ballads or limp soft rock tunes that unfortunately make the lyrics easy to understand. I’m sure it will hard to avoid some of these songs as more are unleashed as singles, but be advised to try your best. I honestly thought that commercial hard rock couldn’t sink any lower than Nickelback or Creed, but Hinder have done it. At least give Nickelback and Creed credit for writing some songs with teeth and respectable melodies. Run for the hills and avoid this like the plague.