Halestorm have been going through a bit of a self-reflective period, it seems. It’s certainly not unheard of for them, or any band really, to give some select songs a do-over and a second release.
This is a band with not one, not two, but three covers EPs where they put their own spin on old favourites. But it’s been only a few months since the stripped back renditions of 2018’s ‘Vicious’ hit digital shelves, and already the Pennsylvanian four-piece have done it again.
‘Reimagined’ cuts to the chase: it’s an EP of some classic Halestorm tracks, put through the mangle to reform them into something new. The hard rockers have mellowed and chilled out to bring us something decidedly more relaxing than their usual high-octane beats.
‘I Am The Fire’ from 2015’s ‘Into The Wild Life’ gets a makeover into a minimal, tuneful acoustic number that allows Lzzy Hale‘s powerful, raw vocals take centre stage. That energy is funnelled into a cover of ‘I Will Always Love You’, which by all accounts is a fairly standard rendition of the Dolly Parton classic. Halestorm certainly take their lead from the popular Whitney Houston cover, putting the ‘power’ in power ballad. A bit more grit might have made it more recognisable to the band, but it’s still quite the opportunity for Lzzy to belt out some bars.
Only ‘Mz Hyde’ doesn’t quite work in this new format. Removing layers from this song makes it sound just a bit too jaunty for its morbid lyrical content. It’d be better suited to a 1920s Texan cabaret show than the grimy Victorian streets the original was better suited for. It’s still fun, at least.
It may be obvious to say this, but ‘Break In’ and its guest feature from Evanescence‘s Amy Lee is absolutely this EP’s stand out. The original piano ballad is so filled with emotion and vulnerability that it was going to be tough to top it, and yet transforming it into a duet with the equally talented Lee makes this version a goth gal’s dream. Hale‘s rougher and readier voice combine with Lee‘s borderline operatic singing makes for an exceptional auditory experience. Fans who have been wanting a studio recording of these two together – the wait was worthwhile.