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Rhapsody Radar 2012: #17 Halestorm

by Justin Farrar

Rhapsody Radar 2012: #17 Halestorm

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Has there ever been a female hard rocker as sexually explicit (and dominant) as Lzzy Hale? Here, check this out: "I can be the bitch/ I can play the whore/ Or your fairytale princess/ Who could ask for more?" Then there's this: "They say it's blind/ They say it waits/ But every time it seals your fate/ And now it's got you by the balls/ It won't let go until you fall." We're nearing the Betty "I Used to Beat Him With a Turquoise Chain" Davis zone with all this wild talk of role-playing S&M, love/lust as a fatal disease and man's age-old knack for acting like nothing but horny, self-destructive toads around the ladies.

Cutting their teeth on the East Coast club circuit for way too many years, Lzzy and her mates in Halestorm (including brother and cofounder Arejay) released their self-titled debut in 2009. It's a good album, but in all honesty, it pales in comparison to this year's quantum leap The Strange Case Of..., a Mutt Lange-like sonic puzzle wherein gnarled metal riffs interlock with Shania Twain's Nashville-glam sing-alongs, all of which get swaddled in myriad sound effects, layered choruses and symphonic treatments. The most obvious influence is Heart, but on a rager like "Love Bites (So Do I)," touches of Cinderella and Motley Crue are detectable, too. Then again, there's "Rock Show," which is more or less Eurovision meets Slaughter, or something odd like that.

Of course, in the spotlight at all times is Lzzy. She's intelligent and beautiful and more than prepared to cut you down with her sharp wit. She also possesses serious range. Soaring like a bird one minute, her voice can just as quickly morph into a hellish, gravel-spitting demon. Or, as Lzzy herself claims, "Mz. Hyde."

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