Review Summary: So ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’, before entering; turn around and leave.
Just like clockwork two more long years have passed and given way to the inevitable. Yes that’s right, a brand new Hinder album. Like all their previous albums, Hinder again don’t try to break new ground with a memorable title and present the new body of work as the aptly titled ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’. ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’ contains eleven new tracks that fans of Hinder will no doubt adore almost instantly, whilst everyone else will continue to spit ample amounts of hate in their general direction.
Following on from their 2010 release ‘All American Nightmare’ Hinder have regressed and fallen even further away from growing at all. Fans of their music will feel that although Hinder relatively don’t change their sound from album to album, each new release had been better than the last. ‘All American Nightmare’ at least saw Hinder add a different, darker edge to their sound that made it their most solid album to date. Instead of attempting to continue on from that building block, they have decided to strip most of the album back into a somewhat attempted anathematic updated version of ‘Extreme Behaviour’. The songs come arranged in the two typical formats; either an attempted sleazy hard rock song or a ballad, with ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’ relying too much on the latter. Six out of the eleven tracks are ballads on ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’ and most of them have some catchy hooks but overall miss the mark this time around. Songs like “Talk to Me” and “Get Me Away From You” outright aren’t very good and don’t really sound like Hinder at all. However credits due when necessary and Hinder have managed to hit a home run with the country tinged ballad “Anyone But You”. For once nothing about this song feels forced and Austin Wrinkler’s unique gravelly, yet smooth vocals excel in this song making it one of their best to date.
Apart from this overall reliance on ballads, ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’ does still manage to include some heavier grungier numbers which Hinder are also known for. With the darker edge lost from their heavier tracks, to make up for it songs like ‘Ladies Come First’ and ‘Wanna Be Rich’ include some dance like up-tempo drumming and electronic effects. ‘Ladies Come First’ manages to capture some catchy lyrical and vocals moments, but ultimately displays one to Hinder’s biggest flaws. Hinder are still too hung up with trying to be the sleazy rockers whilst also trying to maintain that “sensitive” side, when they perhaps should just pick a side already. It doesn’t seem that Hinder is going to solve their identity crisis anytime soon though, because despite relying on ballads, they can still perform a worthwhile rocking number like ‘Freakshow’. ‘Freakshow’ opens with a huge climbing guitar riff that actually set up the song for a worthwhile ride and ‘whoa oh’s’ in the chorus are quite infectious.
It has been stated on websites that the completion of this album has seen Hinder deliver their most diverse collection of songs to date, but it feels like most of them are lacking something they were close too on their last release. If diversity was the bulls-eye on a dart board and Hinder were aiming for it, unfortunately the dart they threw has landed in the wall three metres away. Hinder have always been a guilty pleasure band of mine but ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’ is a step in the wrong direction. So ‘Welcome to the Freakshow’, before entering; turn around and leave.
Haha! You make me laugh! (Commenters) these guys don't make their music for you! They make it for their fans! And with a release of an album gets them some! New fans, so go f**k yourselves. No-one forces you to listen to it!
The album is a fantastic blend of mostly catchy hard rockers and first class ballads, this band gets better with each release..
Why listen to it if you are going to just put it down? you knew what it was going to sound like..And if Hinder weren't so good at what they do, then they wouldn't attract so much attention, albeit mostly negative, in the first place.
@jjmia - Maybe people did know what it was going to sound like & what to expect, however to me it just sounds like a poor version of previous albums. The album is certainly not their most diverse material. As the reviewer said 'All American Nightmare' showed signs of diversity.
Much-derided Oklahoman rockers Hinder deliver exactly what you think they will on 4th LP 'Welcome to the Freakshow'. Like its predecessor, it's a mixed bag of every style they have previously performed... There are the airwave baiting radio-rockers, strip-club ready sleaze rockers, cheesy power ballads & haphazard flourishes of country, pop-rock & southern rock. While an occasional glimpse of talent pops up on roughly every 2nd track, most tunes sound dated, and the constant flip-flopping of style & theme halts any momentum. Ultimately, however, Hinder simply aren't as catchy as they think they are. Recommended Tracks: Save Me & Shoulda Known Better.