Review Summary: Are they still waste way too much time on breakups? Well, yeah, its f*cking Hinder, but it is done in more fun and less in 'how you're gonna blow my bestfriend' way.
Hinder certianly isn't the most loved band in the universe. Often critcized for their blandness and unoriginality, there really had a hard time everytime they released a new record. However, there is one record they released before they became huge. It is not a LP, it is, in fact, an EP. "Far From Close" was released in 2003, and it featured only Winkler on vocals, Blower on guitars and Cody Hanson on drums.
It is pretty apparent that only three musicians were a part of this, since production is pretty unpolished, usually only one guitar strums along, and the bass - I guess Austin took care of it,since it is very present in some of these. It is a very long EP, having more than 10 songs, so what Hinder has to show for it?
Honestly, for mainstream rock standards, this is not that bad. Actually, many would argue this is better than anything else they would release in following years. There is nothing all that corny and overly cheesy here, and radio rock mysogyny is nowhere to be found. There are no songs like "Room 21" or "Striptease" at all. Instead we get almost grunge-like feel in many songs.
However, there is still certian formula here. Quieter verses with explosive choruses. This is really every song here, and it gets kind of tiring as the record goes on. And while this is the case, lyrics are miles better than many of their future releases. "Paste", " Someday" and "Eternity" all use chilling guitar riffs or progressions in the verses, and Austin sounds pretty good. His raspy voice works very well with the music. "Lay Me Down" and "Back and Forth" are some of the heavier tracks, and former even has similar riff to "One Night Stand" off the deluxe edition of 'Take it to the Limit'. But where the latter had 'she stripped her skirt and screamed out loud' lyrics, "Lay Me Down" has much more power and conectivity to it. "Broken", and also some other songs, sounds almost like they came from Creed, the better version of Creed.
Are they still waste way too much time on breakups? Well, yeah, its f*cking Hinder, but it is done in more fun and less in 'how you're gonna blow my bestfriend' way. It is sort of like first few Nickelback's released, I would go as far as to say that it is better than Curb. Don't take my words for granted, even if you hate Hinder, you can't deny that they have that grunge feel here, and way less commercial factor. Honest to god, while the songwriting can feel repetitive at times, there is no sign of appealing to masses, just three guys jammin'. While I still do think nothing can top "Extreme Behavior" when it comes to them, this may actually be 'objectively' their best output (even though it is not even a full length).
Lay Me Down