Category Archives: Hinder

Hinder – Welcome to the Freakshow [Review]


Hinder – Welcome to the Freak Show
2012, Universal Republic Records

1. “Save Me”
2. “Ladies Come First”
3. “Shoulda Known Better”
4. “Freakshow”
5. “Talk to Me”
6. “Get Me Away From You”
7. “Is It Just Me”
8. “I Don’t Wanna Believe”
9. “See You In Hell”
10. “Anyone But You”
11. “Wanna Be Rich”

Austin Winkler – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Joe Garvey – Guitar
Mark King – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mike Rodden – Bass, Backing Vocals
Cody Hanson – Drums

Producer: Kevin Churko & Cody Hanson

Hinder won me over with Take It to the Limit and I became a full-fledged fan after All-American Nightmare but after listening to Welcome to the Freak Show, it’s obvious the band is trying to reclaim the commercial success they had with Take It to the Limit and their debut Extreme Behavior.

This album is full of safe laid-back almost country-sounding pop ballads and “rock” songs that would sound better on a pop station than a rock radio (“Wanna Be Rich” is pretty much dance pop). It’s not that this is a bad album. Hinder is very good at writing slick commercial hard rock songs but this isn’t what I was hoping for after All-American Nightmare. I really thought the band was coming into their own with that release, sounding freer, more melodic and fun than most modern rock bands. I remember that with the past two releases, the band talked about how they were being more like themselves. Well, I guess that’s all out the window now because this is a cash-grab.

There are a number of songs here I enjoy but nothing here packs the same punch as previous songs like “Striptease”, “Use Me” or “Up All Night”. The evolution of this band has been interesting. They seemed like they were going from a generic post-grunge act to becoming more of a modern sleaze rock band than anything else but Welcome to the Freak Show sees them regressing back into post-grunge while throwing in some country/pop and rock/pop for good measure (the lead single “Save Me” even features some rapping). This album is the sound of a band trying to regain a following by any means necessary.

Though a shameless attempt at revitalizing the band’s career, it’s a decent album; just not a memorable one.

Highlights: “Save Me”, “Freakshow”, “Talk to Me”, “Anyone But You”

Buy the album at Amazon

Hinder – All American Nightmare

Hinder – All American Nightmare [Deluxe Edition] (2010, Universal Republic Records)

1. “2 Sides of Me” … 3:24
2. “All American Nightmare” … 3:17
3. “What Ya Gonna Do” … 4:07
4. “Hey Ho” … 3:34
5. “The Life” … 3:37
6. “Waking Up the Devil” … 4:12
7. “Red Tail Lights” … 3:48
8. “Strip Tease” … 3:29
9. “Everybody’s Wrong” … 3:41
10. “Put That Record On” … 3:38
11. “Good Life” … 3:35
12. “Bad Mutha Fucka” … 3:34
13. “Put That Record On” (demo version) … 3:43
14. “What Ya Gonna Do” (demo version) … 4:14

Austin Winkler – Lead Vocals
Joe “Blower” Garvey – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Mark King – Guitar, Piano, Backing Vocals
Mike Rodden – Bass, Backing Vocals
Cody Hanson – Drums

Producer: Kevin Churko, Cody Nason, Marshal Dutton

I became a big fan of Hinder with their last release Take It to the Limit. It was one of the best surprises of the year for me and was a good mix of post-grunge hard rock and ’80s hair metal from a band that had previously only been a boring post-grunge group. With All American Nightmare, the band continues with much of the same blended styles of Take It to the Limit while throwing in a bit of Southern rock influence as well that sometimes reminds of Shinedown or later Saliva. Apparently, the band had even more free rein for this record than they did for the last and that is where the Southern rock vibe comes in.

I think from top to bottom this album is even better than Take It to the Limit. That album was still trying to figure out it’s place between ’80s rock and ’00s rock but this album is much more sure of itself giving the obligatory “modern” “Waking Up the Devil” (maybe Hinder at their heaviest), “What Ya Gonna Do”, “The Life” and “Red Tail Lights”, “Everybody’s Wrong” (the last four are all ballads and have single potential for modern radio), while “Striptease” sounds like a modern Crue song and “All American Nightmare” and “Put That Record On” (an ode to classic rock!) have a classic rock and southern influence. They even take the time to take a few jabs at all the worthless female pop stars with “Striptease” and knock hip-hop with “Hey Ho”.

If there’s one problem I have it’s the lyrics. I love that the guys are throwing back to the broads ‘n’ booze lyrics of the ’80s but I find the constant references to getting high and smoking weed to be annoying. It seems like just about every song has to make some type of mention of it and they’ve been going on about it for three albums now.

I don’t listen to radio but I know “All American Nightmare” was the lead single. I don’t know how much play it has gotten but unfortunately it does not look like this album will match the success of Take It to the Limit‘s gold status as this album debuted at #37 on Billboard with first-week sales of 35,000. Hopefully another single to set the album on fire. It’s just a shame that when any band tries to incorporate more melody, classic rock styles and sing-along choruses they get shunned by fans and labels alike. I can’t believe nu-metal garbage like Disturbed is still selling 10 years later and is really bigger than ever. Are people really still that angry? Is it the SAME people from 10 years ago?

I bought the deluxe edition for a few extra bucks just because I’m such a big fan of these guys now. Tracks 11-14 and a mini foldout poster with the band on one side and All American Nightmare cover model Jesse Lee Denning on the other side. The demo tracks are basically throwaways but I like “Bad Mutha Fucka”, it’s a jokey, fun and loose kind of song. I gotta hand it to these Hinder boys — they really know how to put together artwork for the album! There’s no naked chicks this time but Jesse is incredibly hot. It’s not always easy for a girl to have so many tattoos and make it seem sexy but Jesse has no problem doing it!

Really enjoying this album, loving it the more I listen to it and I’m glad Hinder came around to playing REAL rock ‘n’ roll! As far as I’m concerned Hinder has joined Buckcherry and Avenged Sevenfold as one of the best modern rock/metal acts today.

Highlights: “2 Sides of Me”, “All American Nightmare”, “Hey Ho”, “Waking up the Devil”, “Strip Tease”, “Put That Record On”

HINDER – Take It to the Limit

Hinder – Take It to the Limit [Deluxe Edition with Best Buy Exclusive Tracks] (2008, Universal Republic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Use Me” … 3:49
2. “Loaded and Alone” … 4:06
3. “Last Kiss Goodbye” … 3:48
4. “Up All Night” … 3:33
5. “Without You” … 3:52
6. “Take It To The Limit” … 3:11
7. “The Best Is Yet To Come” … 3:22
8. “Heaven Sent” … 3:41
9. “Thing For You” … 3:59
10. “Lost In The Sun” … 3:52
11. “Far From Home” … 4:03
12. “Heaven Sent (Live)” … 3:42
13. “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)” … 3:34
14. “Lost in the Sun (Live)” … 3:46
15. “The Best is Yet to Come (Acoustic)” … 3:21
16. “Without You (Acoustic)” … 3:52
17. “Use Me (Live)” … 4:30

1. The Making of Take It to the Limit
2. Behind the Scenes at the Photo Shoot

Austin Winkler – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Joe “Blower” Garvey – Guitar
Mark King – Guitar
Mike Rodden – Bass
Cody Hanson – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Mick Mars – Guitar (“Take It to the Limit”)
Brian Howes – Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Paul Laine – Backing Vocals

Produced by: Brian Howes

This band became big with their debut, 2005’s Extreme Behavior. They came off as just another bland modern hard rock band to me at the time, and their big hit, “Lips of an Angel” didn’t appeal to me lyrically at all (it’s about cheating your girlfriend).

I did like Winkler’s voice though and while I’m not sure how Extreme Behavior sounds, this album absolutely rocks. There’s a movement going on in rock right now where the bands are actually (GASP!) having fun and incorporating the fun and party style of the 80s hard rock scene and I think that’s great. Hinder actually reminds me a lot of Buckcherry with this release. They aren’t *as* 80s sleazy as Buckcherry is, but the influence is definitely here. The album pretty much only about one thing: sex. Breaking it down further, it’s about having sex and getting cheated on.

The use of “gang vocals” and catchy glam-inspired guitar work makes this album a winner. I bought the deluxe CD/DVD edition, but because I bought it at Best Buy, I also got six exclusive Best Buys tracks with it (with are live & acoustic takes of some of the album’s songs). I’m not sure how much work was done on those live cuts, but the band sounds great.

And the album packaging? Nothing but a total winner. I was very surprised to open up the flaps and see some absolutely gorgeous naked women (Playboy Playmates!) and breasts so up close. The deluxe edition even includes some “photo cards” done up to look like Polaroids that feature the band with even more naked girls. The booklet has EVEN more naked girls laying about while the band parties on. This is one the greatest album packaging jobs EVER! 1o out of 10! This is what 80s hair bands *wish* their labels would’ve let them done. If you’re still not convinced of Hinder’s dedication to L.A. strip excess, the managed to snag Motley Crue’s Mick Mars for some guitar work and even ex-Danger Danger lead singer Paul Laine to help with the backing vocals.

The DVD ‘Making of’ feature is actually pretty cool. It walks you through (DUH!) the making of the album and the band walks you around the studio, their living spaces during the recording and just generally goofing around. They also mention the success of Extreme Behavior allowed them more freedom with this release and they were able to use their 80s influences more in writing and recording the songs. So there ya go, I guess Take It to the Limit *is* different sounding from their debut. The photo shoot portion is, obviously, very cool and it’s full of “hot-ass fuckin’ chicks” as bassist Mike Rodden says.

If I had heard this album in 2008, it probably would’ve made my Top 10. That just how good I think it is. I’m definitely converted now and would love to see these guys in concert. Modern sleaze metal is big in Europe, but Hinder gives me hope for the good ol’ USA. Watching the DVD, it’s obvious they are starting to make the kind of music they like and are determined to bring fun back to rock.

Just a great release that I can’t stop listening to.

Highlights: “Use Me”, “Loaded and Alone”, “The Last Kiss Goodbye”, “Up All Night”, “Take It to the Limit”, “Without You”, Heaven Sent”, “Far From Home”, “Loaded and Alone (Acoustic)”, “Use Me (Live)”

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