Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 16/12
Welcome To The Freakshow
Written by: PP on 04/03/2013 23:19:36
Welcome to Nickelback version two? Oh, but you already knew that. Hinder have always been particularly faithful to the southern style swagger and macho-driven mainstream hard rock purveyed by Nickelback over the years, so why should their fourth album "Welcome To The Freakshow" be any different?
Well, I'll save you some time and let you know that it isn't. It's the same rehashed verse-chorus-verse-chorus stuff all over again, except without the brash attitude of Nickelback that can have (questionable) appeal sometimes. It's straight up arena rock that's utterly shameless in its obvious cash grabs like the ridiculously bad lyrics in "Ladies Come First" that should appeal to the lowest common denominator amongst us, or the sappy power ballad "Should Have Known Better" which makes 3 Doors Down sound like a heavy rock band. I mean, come on. Really? It's of course ridiculously catchy just to piss me off even more, because that's what you get when you have songwriters stepping in and helping you write a dumbed down pop song. Luckily, most of our readers should be able to see through Hinder and "Welcome To The Freakshow" because it is as transparent as it gets. No artistic ambition, no creativity, nothing to redeem here. Standard arena rock choruses (that occasionally sound like Papa Roach admittedly, just without the charisma of Jacoby Shaddix) and uninspiring instrumentals, that's all there is to this album. Seriously, the drummer in particular must be either the most bored musician in the world or simply lacks talent to do anything but the basic frills.
Nevertheless it's difficult to rate "Welcome To The Freakshow" any lower than just average, because the songs are, as you might expect, fairly catchy. They're just dumbed-down to the level that any serious music fan won't be able to appreciate them on anything other than a superficial level. Sometimes that's okay as well, but there are better bands out there than Hinder to fulfil your guilty pleasure desires. Forget this record and get Feeder's excellent "Generation Freakshow" instead if you absolutely must buy one record from 2012 with the word 'freakshow' in its title.
Download: Save Me, Freakshow
For the fans of: Nickelback, Papa Roach, Default, Rev Theory
Release date 03.12.2012
Universal Music / Spinefarm Records