Album Review: ReAnimate 2.0 by Halestorm

Hale, Hale, Rock’n’Roll. Halestorm has done it again. Reanimate 2.0 – The Covers EP is a collection of covers that will have you wishing you could get Lzzy and the boys to play your birthday party. Not that you didn’t already wish that anyway, but listening to the band blister through such great songs with ease and kick-ass attitude makes it apparent that this is a band worthy of every single honor that has and will be bestowed upon them.

I am a huge fan of Halestorm’s music, and was fortunate enough to meet and see the band play live when they were in Toronto this past May with the Hard Drive Live Tour. There were 4 bands on the bill that night, and Halestorm were not the headliners – but they should have been. After they were done their set that night, I regretted not bringing them more than just a 6-pack of Mill Street Brewery beer when I met them backstage before the show. Their performance was easily worth a couple of 2-4’s, and that was before Arejay’s drum solo. Lzzy, Joe, Josh, and Arejay are class acts and knowing all the words to the songs they played that night made it even better to be standing in the front row. They were gracious, awesome to their fans, and Joe even threw me the set list. Rock nerds like me live for that stuff.

Photo by M.Fasano
Photo by Detroit :)
You can imagine then, my excitement when I heard that the band was coming out with another covers EP. I absolutely loved Re-Animate: The Covers EP. You can also imagine my excitement when I found out I was getting a copy before most people. Some critics will say silly things like “Covers are over-rated: we want new music.” Fine. If you’re one of those people, you can go sit in your room and listen to some of the “new” jazz albums that come out on a daily basis. Come back when you find a melody or a hooky riff. See you in a few decades. (For the record, yes, I’m still scarred from having to play jazz guitar in my high school’s jazz band.)

As for everyone else who is into great rock and roll music, run to your nearest record store or log into iTunes on October 15thwhen ReAnimate 2.0 is released to the public. Why, you ask?
For one, Lzzy’s vocals will continue to astound you. Her range on tracks like Judas Priest’s “Dissident Aggressor”, and AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill” are worth the price of the entire album all on their own. In fact, this may be sacrilege, but I think she sounds better than the original artists do on both versions. Have a listen for yourself before you condemn me for that comment.

“Get Lucky” fixes Daft Punk’s version up quite nicely. It makes the track as heavy as it should have been in the first place. Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” gets a splendid treatment by Lzzy’s voice, and just when you think it’s safe to lay back and get enveloped by her angelic tone, she rips into your soul with “1996” with a version that Marilyn Manson himself would be hell-bent on improving on. But the track that shows just how gifted Lzzy and the band really are is “Hell Is For Children.” Ms.Hale has made it no secret that she’s a huge Pat Benatar fan, and so the band’s choice to cover one of her songs is no surprise to Halestorm fans. What this version does however, is completely annihilate any thought that Lzzy Hale is not the most gifted vocalist in the hard rock/heavy metal world right now. We know she can sing, we know she can play guitar, but this is way beyond any of those things. Halestorm is one of the most hard-working bands in show business, and Lzzy puts her voice through a considerable amount of stress every night. Live or in the studio, she sears you right to the core with her range. Her attitude, poise, and confidence knocks you right off your ass. Every time. This is rock’n’roll ladies and gentlemen. Re-Animate 2.0 is a fun, raucous romp through some great songs that will keep you satisfied until these future heavy metal giants release a new studio album of originals.

Grab your copy of Re-Animate 2.0 on October 15 and do what the sticker says: CRANK IT!  You won’t be sorry, but your neighbors just might be. J

Photo by M.Fasano
Photo by M.Fasano