Halestorm dropped their fourth album, "Vicious," on July 27, 2018, and I can't stop listening. It is everything I could've hoped for and more. You can practically feel how much heart and soul the band put into their work.
I feel as if this album encompasses everything that Halestorm is and always will be — owning yourself, respecting yourself and just straight up rocking hard. Hard rock is alive and here, and I'm ready to blow my speakers out.
"Vicious" feels like sex, drugs and rock and roll, laced with empowering and uplifting messages. Halestorm never fails to step it up a notch. Let's do this.
The opening track is certainly one of my top favorites. I mean, right off the bat, we are hit with Lzzy's undeniable talent. We're presented with the song that holds its message right in the lyrics: Fight back.
There will always be vultures in your life, but it's important not to give up. You need to keep fighting.
"I don't give in, I don't give up
I won't ever let it break me
I'm on fire, I'm a fighter
I'll forever be the last one standing
Black vultures circling the sky
Pick at the pieces
Scavengers wait for me to die
But I'm not defeated"
Lzzy Hale's rough scream will probably always make my heart stop. It has been speculated that some of this song picks at the state of our country.
"Damn, draw another line
Bring the other side
Make up another lie
If you can't see eye to eye
Feed your empty skull
Leave the tv on
Believe what you want
If you can't see right or wrong"
Though the band is in no way political, this song is amazing.
"Skulls, a billion empty skulls
Filling their empty lungs
With the wrong kind of drugs
Baby what have we become
A billion empty skulls
Down and out for blood
Forgot about the love
Just another empty..."
If you don't like this song, you're wrong. Lzzy Hale just spits out the lyrics like it's nothing, but it's seriously everything. I love this song because it's about owning yourself. Literally, both verses are her saying why she did it. She wanted to, and she did it. You want to? Do it!
"I did it all to break every single preconceived notion that you have
I did it all to shake every single one of your emotions and just to make you
I love to make you
I love to make you"
I kind of get an "Is this lust or love?" feel from this song. It's a good song with great lyrics, just like the rest of the album, though. I haven't listened to this one as much as the others yet, so I don't have much more to say about it. Oops.
"Is it love? Is it love?
Or just the drugs pulsing in my veins?
Is it love? Is it love?
Or just a buzz running through my brain?"
"Do Not Disturb"
Let's talk about sex. More importantly, let's talk about a threesome.
If there's any song out there that talks about owning your sex life, this is it. Hale has said that she likes coming from a position of power when it comes to sex. She said that sex is just a part of who she is, and she's not afraid to own it. And she doesn't fail to do so, as this was written after a threesome she had in a Holland hotel. How awesome is she?
She doesn't even write these songs to just straight up talk about sex. It's about owning your own sex life and your own desires. You shouldn't be ashamed of yourself. So many people tend to talk down sex or try to make you feel about it. Don't. Own it. Hell, I'm ready to get out and have a threesome now. (Sorry, Mom and Dad.)
"I'm on the very top floor room 1334
There's a king size bed but we can do it on the floor
Turn your cell phone off, leave a sign on the door
That says 'Do not disturb'
And if I were you I'd bring your girlfriend too
Two is better than one, three is better than two
Leave a sign on the door, the whole night through
That says 'Do not disturb'"
I really like the contrast between the verses and the chorus of this song. The verses are a tad more relaxed and almost sound acoustic, but the chorus is hard and rough. I feel like it captures the song well, since it's about all these emotions and the sexual tension that seems to be happening.
"I'm conflicted, this addiction's got me twisted on you
I'm conflicted, contradictive, got my body confused
I'm yes or no, I will, I won't
I'm conflicted and addicted
So come over and make up my mind"
"Killing Ourselves To Live"
This song makes you want to put your lighters in the air and sing your hearts out. This one, once again, is one of my favorites. I just love the soul behind it, and the power. It's one of those songs you just have to give a listen to in order to understand.
"Here we are killing ourselves to live
We just need one more hit
And we might just live forever
Oh, here we are
We're going down with this ship
And if this is our last trip
At least we'll go together
We might just live forever"
"Heart of Novocaine"
While I still love Lzzy's rough and powerful voice, this more acoustic song is beautiful. Lzzy always sounds amazing, but I love a couple of the slower tracks, as you can really hear her voice and the rawness of it. You can hear her giving it her all and connecting with the song, bringing through the messages of hurt and pain and strength. This one hits hard.
"Thank you for the pain
Thank you for the hate
Thank you for the way that you left me scarred
Thank you for the stain that you left on my brain
Now because of you I've got a heart
A heart of Novocaine"
Have you ever felt as though you were addicted to someone? Like they were your drug?
I have not, but I'm a writer, so I've written about it. I get it. Moving along, this is what the song is about: having someone who gets you high and makes you feel good.
"Just a touch is all I need to trigger the sweetest dopamine
You're taking away the death of me
I can hit it, quit it, not addicted, you know it's a lie
You get me high like a painkiller, like a painkiller
You numb the pain, you're blowing my mind
Like a painkiller, you're the painkiller
That gets me, gets me, gets me high"
Kind of jumping off of "Do Not Disturb," instead of owning your sex life, this one is straight up about owning yourself. It's about not worrying about being traditional. It tells you not to worry about what everyone expects from you.
The song starts with Lzzy talking about how she tried to be perfect and cared what people thought, but that isn't who she is. And people are just going to have to accept that. I love that. You shouldn't be ashamed of who you are. As I've said before, and as this album says, own it.
"I'm not the girl in the white dress
I'm not your fairytale princess
I'm sorry, mama, that I made you cry
Some day you'll know the reason why
I'm not the girl in the white dress
I'm embracing my darkness
I'm really sorry that I let you down
But I'm still gonna make you proud"
I always get excited about hearing the song that an album is named after. I like seeing if I can figure out why, or if I think it lived up to the hype of it. Well, "Vicious" certainly does.
It's the classic feel-good song with that Halestorm edge, and sound doesn't get much better than this. A play off of the saying "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger," it goes, "What doesn't kill me makes me vicious." Hell to the yeah.
"What doesn't kill me
Makes me vicious
I'm not gonna break
I can take all that you can give
This is survival
Of the sickest
I am not afraid, bring the pain"
Lzzy's voice is ear porn. There's no doubt about it. This song proves it. And that moment when all the sound stops, and it's just her voice? I can't even begin to explain how it makes me feel.
This one's a song not meant to make you feel sad but reminiscent. I know I sound awful, but I belt this one out in my car anyway.
"I will feel you
I will see you
I will hear you
And I will keep you
After the silence"
Honestly, you can't go wrong with Halestorm. I know their sound isn't for everyone, but even if you just give it a listen to hear the lyrics and get the message, it's totally worth it.
Halestorm has been a part of my life for a while now, and I always look forward to what's coming next from them. They're an incredible band with some serious talent. I highly recommend buying the album, or you can also listen to all of the audio on their YouTube page.
I have seen them live three times now, so I can also assure you that what you hear is them. Seriously, Lzzy sounds just like that, if not better, live.
All I'm saying, give them a chance. They're pretty awesome if you ask me.