Tuesday 24 January 2017

EP Review: HALESTORM - Reanimate 3.0: The Covers EP

Halestorm Reanimate 3.0 cover

1. Still Of The Night (Whitesnake cover)
2. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover (Sophie B. Hawkins cover)
3. I Hate Myself For Loving You (Joan Jett cover)
4. Heathens  (Twenty One Pilots cover)
5. Fell On Black Days (Soundgarden cover)
6. Ride The Lightning (Metallica cover)

I really enjoy these cover EPs. They're a great 'stop-gap' between studio albums, not only giving the fans something new, but introducing younger fans to some great bands. The choice of songs is always a diverse mix of Rock and Metal with a curveball or two, and for me, it's the curveball songs that I enjoy most. On the first Reanimate, there was a superb Hard Rock cover of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, and on the second, an equally cool, rocked up take on Daft Punk's Get Lucky. Other previous highlights were covers of Skid Row's Slave To The Grind, AC/DC's  Shoot To Thrill, and Guns n' Roses' Out Ta Get Me.

On this third covers EP, Halestorm kick things off with their version of the Whitesnake classic Still Of The Night. Halestorm's rendition is a little shorter, and cuts out some of the moody middle section. The song doesn't suffer for this. Whilst I love the original, it was nice to hear this faithful yet modern sounding version with some of the fat trimmed off. It's a strong opener for the EP, and possibly the best Whitesnake cover I've ever heard.

Next up is the curveball, a version of Sophie B. Hawkins' pop classic Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover. To be honest, I never liked the original song. Halestorm do a good rock version though, and I've found myself warming to it.

The cover of the Joan Jett classic I Hate Myself For Loving You is much more to my tastes, and Halestorm deliver a faithful, yet no frills version with a bit more Rock and a little less Glam. The changes they made are subtle but really effective.

Covering a song from a recent successful mainstream movie is a clever move. It will ensure plenty of hits on YouTube, and potentially help the band to reach a wider audience. That's what Halestorm have done here with their cover of Twenty One Pilots' Heathens. The original was used in last year's hugely popular Suicide Squad movie. Their cover is naturally a bit more rocking, but lacks some of the darkness, and the generally creepy vibe of the original. It's still cool though, and fits nicely with their repertoire.

The last two are straight up Hard Rock covers. They sound exactly as I'd expect them to. I really like the Soundgarden cover. The original is my favourite song from the Superunknown album, so I was particularly pleased that Halestorm chose this one. Singing anything originally sang by Chris Cornell is always a risky move as he has such an incredible, distinctive and unique voice. However Lzzy Hale tackles this one in style, bringing her own soulful charisma to the table, and making the song her own.

They finish the EP in style with a truly killer version of Metallica's Ride The Lightning. It's heavy and doesn't lack any of the savagery and precision riffing of the original. I've heard many Metallica covers by various bands, and I can't think of one that's anything like as good as this.

To conclude, this is another really strong covers EP, and shows the diversity of the band's influences as well as their very high calibre of musicianship. I'm really looking forward to their next studio album, and hope another covers EP isn't too far behind that.


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