Review: Hinder – All American Nightmare Is Just That
Despite the fact that press releases will compare the big, brash sound of Hinder to rock pioneers such as Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith, there’s nothing legendary about Hinder. The aptly named All American Nightmare is evidence of this, and offers a prophetic title, because if Hinder is what American rock music is about, then it is definitely a nightmare.
Of course, fans of radio rock and the countless bands that sound exactly like Hinder will likely love All American Nightmare. This is lighter-in-the-air, cigarette-over-ear rock, with plenty of crunchy riffs, tobacco-strained vocals and alcohol-influenced lyrics.
Hinder sounds promising on the opening track, “2 Sides of Me,” with a Soundgarden-esque guitar hook, but even the instrumentals can’t overcome the irritating, vapid lyrics – enough variations on “I’m gonna love you all night long” had been written well before All American Nightmare dropped, and not many more were necessary.
The title track also offers some good guitar, but the forced bad boy feel and far-too-familiar sound of the big chorus make you feel as though you’ve heard “All American Nightmare” quite a few times before, and quickly tried to find something else on a different station.
The contrast between “All American Nightmare” and the “ooh, babay” acoustic ballad “What Ya Gonna Do” is hilarious, and provides probably the most entertainment this album has to offer, albeit accidentally. “Hey Ho” is an anthem for Hinder’s down-home fans, with lyrics about a relationship doomed to failure because the narrator’s significant other did not appreciate his GNR shirt and listened to Kanye West. Again, if you already like this music, you’ll enjoy tracks like this; if not, you’ll be sick of the shtick by now.
“The Life” is another down-tempo, acoustic track that feels more like an attempt at crossover success than a soul-searching song. “Waking Up the Devil” provides some nice fingerpicking and engaging instrumentation throughout, and is perhaps the best track on All American Nightmare.
“Striptease” offers the deep lyrics, “I’d respect you more if you just took off your clothes,” which sums up the general mindset of most of All American Mindset, and is a raunchy rocking track that will most likely be mystifyingly popular.
“Everybody’s Wrong” provides another requisite ballad, and “Put That Record On” is an ode to the music that inspired Hinder, another crack-a-beer-and-pass-the-bong track.
If your idea of good rock music is what you can find on a top-4o station, then this will likely be the highlight of 2010 for you. If you prefer a little originality, creativity and perhaps even a time signature other than 4/4, then prepare to be disappointed. However, that’s not to say All American Nightmare won’t sell well; it will probably be certified gold and spawn a single or two that you’ll come to loathe as they’re overplayed. Hinder knows its demographic, and nails it on this album, suggesting that All American Nightmare is far more clever than it initially appears.
And – great news! Hinder is on tour now, and you can find Hinder tickets right here.
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