by thezouz USER (23 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2019 | 4 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Overall, this is as good as Hinder gets with Dutton.

Writing a song from many people's perspectives starts with an acoustic guitar, and then you gradually build on the melody you just came up with on it. So what we have here is a bare bones stripped down performance of songs from Hinder's 2015 record (with a one cover and one older song as well).

Things started falling apart for Hinder long before they lost their frontman in 2013. They couldn't reach the charts anymore, their records became exponentially worse, but it's not until their 2015 record with the new singer, 'When the Smoke Clears', that they became truly bland. While it is not terrible, there is virtually no memory or any musical creativity on it. It's frustrating cause Marshall Dutton's voice does not fit the band whatsoever, and while the lyrics are little less ridiculous and cheesy as they used to be with Winkler, they are just boring and without any substance.

So these are just stripped down versions of the songs that are on that record. And I gotta say; these versions are actually better than the originals. I ain't even joking, the acoustic guitars sound smooth and well performed, bass is still kinda quiet, but decently enough played, and drums sound much more natural than on the record. It's really an interesting situation that literally the starting scratches of these songs sound better than they ended up to be.

However, that is not saying all that much, since the performed music is still very generic, and Marshall's voice, while less annoying in this arrangement, is still pretty rough. These songs are also very similar to each other in this vein, so the 6 track collection feels like one giant song. "Not an Addict" cover, as well as most of the songs off 'When the Smoke Clears', feel like they would sound so much better with Austin Winkler on the vocals. "Intoxicated" is actually the one song that sounds better on WTSC than here, which itself makes it utterly bland. "Hit the Ground" is probably the best one from that record here, with standard progression that at least feels nice to hear, and Marshall's voice here is for the most part way more passable than on the rest of the EP. But probably the best overall song is "Get Stoned" off their debut album, which makes sense, considering it is a pretty fun and catchy song itself and Dutton does a solid job here as well. He's not amazing by any stretch, but it certianly has potential.

So overall, this is as good as Hinder gets with Dutton. The two studio records are both mediocre, and it looks like it's not getting better (tho new single 'Halo' actually isn't that bad tbh). But being as good as it gets still doesn't mean it has a lot going for it, if you weren't a fan, this is definitely not gonna change your mind, even a little.

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user ratings (4)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 22nd 2019


absolute madman

February 22nd 2019


When the Smoke Clears still destroys Welcome to the Shitshow. God I even hated that album when I was a Hinder fan.

Digging: Dayseeker - Sleeptalk

February 23rd 2019


Album Rating: 2.5

I will disagree. At least Freakshow felt like a Hinder record with some fun jams and decent ballads.

When the smoke clears has nothing for me.

February 23rd 2019


Agree to disagree man.

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