Halestorm, Back From The Dead (Atlantic 2022)

The new album from Halestorm will help you shake off ghosts of the past: Back From The Dead.

Halestorm is a hard rock band with an alt rock approach that includes elements of metal, grunge, and beyond. Their self-titled album came out more than ten years ago and aroused immediate widespread interest. Growing in popularity steadily over the years, their most recent album, Vicious (2018), set the high water at the time. For me, Back From The Dead is even better. Halestorm is Lzzy Hale (vocals, guitar), Arejay Hale (drums), Joe Hottinger (guitar), and Josh Smith (bass).

Any chance to see Halestorm is one you can’t let go by. I last saw them at Aftershock just before the pandemic and they were absolutely great. They are all energy, intensity, and fun in a hard-edge rock setting. There might be a couple other bands in this lane but there is only one Halestorm.

The title track kicks things off and it is a heavy player. Powerful guitars and Lzzy Hale’s soulful voice combine for rock and roll perfection. I am expecting to hear this one a lot as summer comes on. It is an excellent set opener for live shows and a good radio call as well. “Wicked Ways” seesaws in next with a gruffer leading edge. “Strange Girl” has a sinisterly playful tinge to it with an effervescent aggression that cannot be ignored.

The harder rock songs are the ones I think of first but of course there are a lot of different things to hear on the album. “The Steeple” is the second single from the record, and it is filled with stadium vibes and an eminently singable chorus, and “Terrible Things” is a thought-provoking ballad. “I Come First” is a gritty declaration and “Psycho Crazy” is a ferocious pushback. And then there is “Raise Your Horns,” which, from the title, sounds like it would speaks for itself, but it is not what you might expect.

Fans of Halestrom are going to be glad for this new one. It compares well to their earlier albums, and this one is more fervent, I would say, very vibrant. Recommended.

Out now through Atlantic Records, you can get Back From The Dead anywhere. And you should. Links below.

Live photos by Wayne Edwards at Aftershock 2019.


Halestorm Store, https://store.halestormrocks.com/

Halestorm Website, https://www.halestormrocks.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/halestormrocks

Atlantic Records, https://www.atlanticrecords.com/halestorm

© Wayne Edwards

Halestorm, Back From The Dead (Atlantic 2022)

Dinosaur Jr., Sweep It Into Space (2021)

The thirteenth album from New England’s Dinosaur Jr. is another leg in the journey of alternate rock that never ceases to wind on.

In 1993 Dinosaur Jr. had a huge radio hit with “Out There” from the Where You Been album, but by then the band was already on its fifth album and the song was no surprise to the fans who knew them. I’ve always thought that this song opened the door for the Meat Puppets to have a big day with few months later with “Backwater.” Hmm. This early-to-mid 1990s period had a lot going on, a lot of flashes and bangs. The mainstream (whoever they are) caught a glimpse of bands like Dinosaur Jr. that loyal fans had known about for a long time. That was a good thing, but it was short lived. Pretty soon the road bent again and, while the mass of humanity might have globbed of in another direction, Dinosaur Jr. kept rolling.

The new album is the first in a few years. There are twelve tracks in the laid-back, easing in and easing on style that defines not only Dinosaur Jr. but the genre they helped to create. The signature voice and fuzzy guitar that has kept you coming back all these years is there for you now. I wonder what it would be like for someone to come across this band now for the first time and have to wrap their head around the idea that there are a dozen other albums to immerse themselves in, uncovering wonder after wonder. That has to be a good day.

My favorite songs are the up-tempo pieces, like “Hide Another Round” but I don’t skip ahead or shy away from the softer ones either. I wouldn’t throw stones at any of the band’s albums but I will say I like this new one as much as I liked Farm (2009), and that was a big one for me. Recommended.

Sweep It Into Space is out now. Check out the Dinosaur Jr. website for merch and music or the ever-reliable Bandcamp.


Bandcamp, https://dinosaurjr.bandcamp.com/album/sweep-it-into-space

Website, https://www.dinosaurjr.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DinosaurJr

Dinosaur Jr., Sweep It Into Space (2021)