Hinder
When the Smoke Clears


2.0
poor

Review

by Mason USER (58 Reviews)
February 11th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 05/12/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A failed attempt at reinvention

It’s sad to see a band fall to obscurity. That’s not an uncommon feat; bands come and go all the time, with some maintaining their popularity for years on end and others falling to the wayside when the next big thing arrives. Regardless, it can be rough knowing that an artist you saw potential in faded away. Granted, Hinder was never the most inventive or worthwhile act to come out in the post-grunge boom of the mid-2000s. They had a few decent cuts off their debut Extreme Behavior, but it wasn’t something anyone could call “deep”. That being said, regardless of its laundry list of issues, if you were looking for a fun, smutty radio rock album, you surely could have done much worse.

The first thing you’ll notice with When the Smoke Clears is that Hinder underwent a significant lineup change; in 2013, lead singer Austin Winkler departed from the band, presumably due to his struggles with alcoholism. His replacement was that of former Faktion guitarist Marshal Dutton, who had been working with the band as far back as 2009. Dutton has a much brighter tone to his voice when compared to Winkler, almost possessing a faux-country twang at points. While I may prefer Dutton from a sonic perspective, the band definitely lost a key part of what they were, and it wasn’t necessarily a change for the better. The smut of past releases has been largely traded in for an attempt at darker, more introspective feel. It’s not completely absent, as “Intoxicated” and “I Need Another Drink” still contain the same alcoholic madness that bogged down their work with Winkler, but it’s greatly reduced.

Don’t let my description of this album being their attempt at dark and introspective mislead you though, because this is still middle-of-the-road radio rock. If you’re not already sold on Hinder because of their usual stupidity, this won’t change your mind. It’s not deeper or more substantial than any of the slower cuts off Extreme Behavior or Take It to the Limit. The two biggest highlights, “Dead to Me” and “Nothing Left to Lose”, were written years prior for use in other projects; in other words, the best cuts from When the Smoke Clears have seen far more time on the drawing board. “Intoxicated” waters down the already-generic formula Hinder relied on in their heyday, “Letting Go” comes off as a half-baked attempt at recreating “Dead to Me”, and most of the other cuts on this album see Hinder going through the motions and failing to be memorable like they were in the past. It’s not so much a fall from grace; more a failed attempt at reinvention. No wonder Hinder was forgotten in the long run.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
1.7
very poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
AgentDeathbat
February 11th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This was a relatively quick write-up. I've decided to forgo the "track ratings" this time around, but if anyone is wondering how I see this album overall:

1) Rather Hate Than Hurt - 2.5/5

2) Hit the Ground - 2/5

3) Wasted Life - 2/5

4) If Only for Tonight - 3/5

5) Intoxicated - 1.5/5

6) Dead to Me - 3.5/5

7) Foolish Eyes - 2.5/5

8) Nothing Left to Lose - 3/5

9) Letting Go - 1.5/5

10) I Need Another Drink - 2/5

Jesuslaves
February 11th 2019


4954 Comments


m/

AgentDeathbat
February 11th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

m/ indeed. god damn, considering the best song on here was meant to be a Faktion track, why in the bloody FUCK didn't they cover/recycle more of that band's material? They were so overlooked. If this had a re-do of "Always Wanting More" instead of that pathetic ass "Letting Go", this would at least be a 2.5 from me.

joshieboy
February 11th 2019


6863 Comments


Ah yeah that band only known for the horrible lips of an angel

AgentDeathbat
February 11th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Idk I had fun with them for a while lol

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2019


9976 Comments


Oh, those guys huh? Guess the rating is accurate then.

Not a bad review, perhaps could have included more critique, but w/e

Digging: WRVTH - No Rising Sun

AgentDeathbat
February 11th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@Mars: The issue is this album doesn't give me a whole lot to talk about. It's very samey, tepid, boring outside of like a few songs.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2019


9976 Comments


Fair enough. I would have explained more, but that's ultimately my preference. I definitely understand when an album seems so dull and vapid that descriptions seem elusive.

AgentDeathbat
February 12th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@Mars: yeah, I was willing to try and go to bat for it because I liked a couple songs, but the rest just felt so fucking boring. At least with the older work, I can laugh at how cringeworthy tracks like "Room 21" or "Lips of an Angel" were...this? Nothing on that level.

sixdegrees
February 12th 2019


6691 Comments


not at all sad to see these guys fall into complete irrelevance

Digging: Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration

AgentDeathbat
February 12th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@six: Meh, I still like a few songs on their first few albums, and "Dead to Me" off this release is solid enough for the style.

PyramidNoise
February 13th 2019


535 Comments


Pos'd.

Also forgive my noob-ness. But what does "m/" mean?

Storm In A Teacup
February 13th 2019


26775 Comments


someone would ask that on a hinder thread. I might as well end it all right here yeesh

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2019


9976 Comments


It's only used for when something is ahrd.

This is unfortunately note ahrd.

AgentDeathbat
February 13th 2019


10023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Dead to Me" is ahrd but that's about it. It's also the worst version of the song I've heard.



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