Review Summary: One of rocks most important albums
Hinder is not to be perceived as a band, but rather a group of five of the industry's most talented musicians. Hailing from the state of Oklahoma, Hinder have released some of the greatest albums rock has seen in a very long time. The negative reception they have garnered since their inception is highly undeserved, as Hinder is a band (sorry, five of the most talented men in the game) that has been experimenting and pushing the boundaries from the beginning. What many naysayers don’t understand is that "Extreme Behavior" is an album that would pave the way for much of what would come later.
Right off the bat, we have Hinder pushing the envelope with all songs beginning at 0:00, a fresh and innovative method of songwriting. Along with that, the album is kept to ten tracks, which is a bold statement against music critics. They could have risked oversaturation with an inflated tracklist to please rock elitists, but keeping it to ten songs leaves the listener wanting more. On the note of musical talent, Joe Garvey and Cody Hanson both provide excellent guitar work, creating a series of iconic guitar riffs on songs like "Nothing Good About Goodbye" and "Shoulda". In addition to memorable licks, the guitar solos could fill Dimebag Darrell with shame for not living up to the standard that Joe Garvey would set on this record. Songs like "Get Stoned" and "Bliss (I Don’t Wanna Know)" feature guitar solos that easily top those of songs like "Floods"
Austin Winkler’s vocal abilities soar on this record, but his songwriting steals the show, as he is capable of reaching out to listeners and pulling them into his world. His decision to write both heavy hitters and slow songs is a risky move, but it pays off. The fact that "Room 21" and "How Long" are on the same album is remarkable. It shows the bands dedication to breaking new ground, and they succeed. Along with lyrical innovation, the way the track placement was executed was smart. The decision to not have all the heavy tracks play first then the slower songs play after may sound wack, but Hinder defies music critics’ expectations once again by making it work.
A highlight of the album is "Better Than Me", a beautifully crafted story about a relationship that has gone south. Austin showcases his authorship skills on this song, as these lyrics could be found in award winning novels like "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton. The lyrics bleed emotion, and Austin continues to suck the listener into the song with a heartfelt chorus:
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
It is that chorus alone that solidifies Hinder’s status among the rock community as one of the all time greats. Extreme Behavior is a highly influential album, and would go on to inspire more classic albums such as 15, Dark Horse, and The Truth Is…. Rock elitists are bound to criticize an album that they feel doesn’t hold a torch to their less talented peers like Tool. However, the more sophisticated music goers will find this album to be one of the genres most important works of our time.