Review Summary: The American Nickelback.6 of 8 thought this review was well written
Think of Hinder as the American Nickelback. It's boring mainstream rock with horrible vocals, a repetitive lyrical matter of sex, drugs and relationships, and every damn song sounds the same. While Nickelback didn't reach infamy until a few albums into their career, Hinder got off the wrong foot immediately. After "Lips of an Angel" hit the top ten, this album was thrashed, and deservedly so.
It's pretty clear things aren't looking too bright when in the middle of the first song, you're already bored. Austin Winkler's boring vocals combined with the mediocre guitar and drums plus stupid lines like "Go home, get stoned / 'cause the sex is so much better when you're mad at me" equals the lazily constructed opener, "Get Stoned". Once you've heard the opening track, you've practically heard 75% of the album.
There is no variation to the album. Second track "How Long" plays it rather safe, being a mid-tempo rock song about break-ups. Winkler tries to be tough by saying "f*ck", but it ends up sounding lame like he's a third-grader who never heard the word before. The repetitive subject matter really gets irritating at the fifth track, "Bliss", in which Winkler turns to vodka to drown his sorrows of yet another failed relationship. The liquor strikes again in "Homecoming Queen", when Winkler tells us a tale of a sexy teenager who screwed up her life by drugs and drinking. All of these are sub-par mainstream rock tracks that all sound the same and are all about the same things. It's really annoying. Hinder likes drinking. Hinder sucks at relationships. Hinder likes sex. Hinder sucks at relationships. Hinder likes sex. Hinder likes drinking, etc.
The album reaches its lowest point at "Room 21", a lame attempt at a faux-metal impression. What a surprise, the lyrics are about sex! They're completely horrible too! "And when we were done, she said she liked the taste of my oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh," yells Winkler, in easily his worst vocal performance on the album. His screams sound half-assed, and when he's not roaring, they're still gritty as f*ck, and not in a good way.
The other 25% of the album are horrid ballads about his f*cked up love life. "Better than Me" is boring as hell, with cheesy lines like "I really miss your hair in my face / And the way your innocence tastes / And I think you should know this / You deserve much better than me." "Lips of an Angel" has been played to death by the radio, and is honestly not that bad of a song, compared to the other crap that's on the album. The lyrics still feel like they were written by a second grader ("I gotta whisper 'cause I can't be too loud"), but at the end of the day, you can't really fault it that much.
The album closes with "Shoulda", which is probably the best song on the album, with Winkler's vocals at his best. The lyrics are still sub-par, and the instruments are not great, but my standards have been set so low with the bullsh*t I put up with for the first nine tracks that anything better than those songs is a decent tune.
In the end, the album's subject matter (and songs) are highly repetitive. Winkler's vocals are horrible, and the band clearly proves their lack of substance by repeating the same formula ten times.
Oh wait, I forgot. There is one good thing about the album.
The chick on the cover.