Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hinder - All American Nightmare

Just when it appears that all of the great albums have been released for 2010, Hinder comes around and drops a record that is so intense it makes everyone reconsider their best of list.

Hinder’s third release was recently unleashed on the head banging masses in the form of All American Nightmare. All I can say is Holy Hell, what a record! Hinder has put out two solid records prior, nothing groundbreaking or ear shattering, but nothing to slouch at either. Both their debut album, Extreme Behavior, and their sophomore follow up, Take It To The Limit were strong recordings centered on fun rock and roll. Their latest album is so much more. Between the end of the Take It To The Limit tour and the release of All American Nightmare, something happened to this band. They evolved. All American Nightmare could possibly be the best album I’ve listened to in 2010.

Leading off with 2 Sides Of Me the band immediately sets the tone that this is not your previous Hinder record. Heavier on guitar, darker in theme, and much more polished in production, this album is one for the collection. 2 Sides Of Me is a hard rocking anthem to bipolarity brought on by excess booze. I suppose it happens to the best of us.

All American Nightmare, the song, keeps the rock going strong. Opening with a quick strum of the guitar, All American Nightmare explodes into a wave of hard rock music with Austin Winkler’s voice sounding better than ever. Another ode to sleaze, good times, and loving the ladies, All American Nightmare is the Hinder music that we know and love.

Ballads of the album are plentiful and include: What Ya Gonna Do, The Life, and Red Tail Lights. What Ya Gonna Do is a sonnet to stop using alcohol as a medication and trying to make yourself a better person. The Life is all about reflection. Winkler sings of working so hard to get somewhere in life, only to arrive and find that it’s actually not so marvelous. Red Tail Lights is my favorite song on the album (I’ve already played it 22 times (according to the stats on my iPod). A power ballad that is certain to be a smash single for Hinder, Red Tail Lights is a song about trying to save a relationship that is certain to be destroyed due to suspicions, doubt, and uncertainty. Winkler sings the pain and the listener feels it. This is a powerful song.

The closing number on the album, Put That Record On, is homage to the music that Hinder grew up listening to. Packed with references to their favorite bands and songs, Put That Record On is a fun song and a great way to end a fantastic album.

Lyrically, All American Nightmare shows both sides of a writer. There are flashes of brilliance and originality in some lines, while others are littered in clich├ęs. Lines that stand out (as good) include: red tail lights in the pouring rain (it conjures such an image); I’ll be your prom king early/your Mr. Clean charming your momma at your front door (from 2 Sides Of Me); and I live a life of no regrets, they’re on their way but ain’t here yet (from What Ya Gonna Do). The last is an amazing line. It’s a simple combination of words that are always used touching on a theme that’s been played to death, yet Hinder gives it originality by twisting the lyrics ever so slightly. Yes, outside writers contributed to this record, but the heart of the lyrics belong to Hinder.

All American Nightmare has taken Hinder to the cusp of greatness. While the weak spots on the record prevent them from going over the top and being the greatest rock band of the new millennium, they are as close as can be. The tour behind this record will push Hinder into the next stratosphere and by this summer you will be hearing one of the 3 power ballads (most likely Red Tail Lights) all over every radio station. All American Nightmare is Hinder’s breakthrough album, the one that takes them to the next level, much like All The Right Reasons did for Nickelback and Scars and Souvenirs did for Theory of a Deadman. Hinder is a summer tour away from taking over the world and All American Nightmare is the album they will take it over with.

Ryo’s Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Track Listing
2 Sides Of Me
All American Nightmare
What Ya Gonna Do
Hey Ho
The Life
Waking Up The Devil
Red Tail Lights
Everybody’s Wrong
Put That Record On

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. I have been listening to this CD in my car a lot. It flat out rocks!