Halstorm burst onto the hard-rock scene with their 2009 self-titled debut, featuring the smash hit "I Get Off." Since then, frontwoman Lzzy Hale has been featured on the cover of Revolver's 2009 "Hottest Chicks in Metal" issue and become one of our celebrity advice columnists, alongside Vinnie Paul of Pantera and Hellyeah. Now, as a stop-gap until the band's highly anticipated second studio album, Halestorm drop this covers EP.
With songs by Guns N’ Roses, Lady Gaga, and the Beatles, ReAniMate is like a perfect mix tape, except as seen through the lenses of Hale and her bandmates. Beginning with Skid Row’s '80s classic “Slave to the Grind,” Lzzy’s screams and harmonies make this a breath of fresh air, a perfect balance between old and new, all the while proving that Sebastian Bach & Co. were ahead of their time. Things then take a turn when Halestorm take on a song that’s from this century: Lady Gaga’s ubiquitous “Bad Romance.” Hard-rock loyalists, fear not, the band performs it stripped raw. The thing is, Halestorm still manage to keep the song’s original pop format—it just has more edge.
The real triumph here, however, is Halestorm’s rendition of the Beatles’ “I Want You/She’s So Heavy.” If you have ever wondered what it would have sounded like if John, Paul, George, and Ringo met up with Black Sabbath and Janis Joplin for a late-night jam session, Halestorm have the answer. Lzzy’s caterwauls and sultry vocals deliver the message of raw passion and sensuality, with an absolute “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that many female vocalists could stand to channel more often.
Taken in full, ReAniMate is a treasure trove of top-notch hard rock, regardless of the performers’ genders. Cover albums in general run the risk of being either off-putting to fans of the all the bands involved or, worse yet, boring. But Halestorm managed here to make these songs their own while giving the artists they’ve covered their due. In fact, the release’s only failing is that it’s an EP: Six songs just aren’t enough. SARAH B. KOENIG
Check out Halestorm's cover of Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind" below: