Oklahoma’s favorite rockers Hinder are back with a brand new album that finds them pushing the proverbial musical envelope. Welcome to the Freakshow is a diverse mix of rockin’ tracks and ballads with quite a few surprises thrown in. It’s a brave move for the band that may surprise quite a few listeners as well as die-hard fans.
Welcome to the Freakshow is the follow-up to 2010’s All American Nightmare. That album saw the guys going after a darker, heavier sound. This album was approached differently as lead singer Austin Winkler and drummer Cody Hanson, the main songwriters in the band, approached each song individual instead of writing the album with an overall theme or feel. The results have produced some of the most creative material that we have heard from the guys ever. They travel down some musical avenues that have never been explored on a Hinder album in the past and I commend them for branching out.
Now, before I totally freak everyone out, let me reassure you all that this is still a Hinder album from beginning to end. It kicks-off with the rock track and first single “Save Me” and it’s textbook Hinder, except for the small spoken word part in the song that could be lead singer Austin Winkler’s attempt at a rap verse. You listen and be the judge. Then, things start to get interesting with playfully titled “Ladies Come First”. The badboy side comes out to play on this track. This song definitely rocks, but it’s also down right funky too.
Craving a new Hinder ballad? Well, look no further than track number three for your first one. “Shoulda Known Better” starts with a piano intro with electronic musings worked in that add a nice touch to the song. The boys plug in the chorus for some added power. This song should blow up big at radio if released as a single. “Freakshow” is another straight ahead rocker in the same vein as “Save Me”. A rocker like this needs a tasty solo and lead guitarist Joe Garvey doesn’t disappoint.
Now, if I mention that there’s a country flair to this new album, I don’t want you to stop reading. It’s not quite time to break out the cowboy hats and go to a hoe-down (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The ballads “Talk to Me” and “Anyone but You” definitely have a country flavor to them and the guys pull it off impressively. Jon Bon Jovi has dabbled in country, as well as Aaron Lewis of Staind, so why can’t Hinder think a little outside of the box?
“I Don’t Wanna Believe” is another great ballad that combines piano, electronic shading and great guitar parts that all come together to make this a rich and touching ballad. It’s definitely one of my favorites on the album. “Is It Just Me” is an adventurous song for the guys. The electronic elements throughout the album are featured predominantly on this track. It’s catchy, but I ‘m not sure how this one will go over with longtime fans of the band. Time will only tell.
Overall, it’s a solid album from the guys. In this fickle music industry, artistic growth is important in maintaining a long career. It’s great for Hinder to branch out and incorporate new things into their music. This album will surprise a lot of fans and to be honest, it will probably piss a few of them off. These guys welcome the haters, so bring it on! The album comes out on December 4, so pick it up and check it out for yourself. Will you be on Team Hinder or Team Hater?
~Johnny Price, Journalist with RockRevolt™ Magazine
Listen to “Save Me”