For My Sunday Song #240, we are ending this 10 song set of Halestorm tracks with one of my favorite songs by the band, “Love Bites (So Do I)” off the band’s 2012 album ‘The Strange Case of…’. The song was the first single off the album and is the opening track and it went to #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It also garnered a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards. The song was written by Lzzy Hale and Dave Bassett.
The song is about her disdain for those women’s magazine and their quizzes telling people who they should date and what they should wear and all that crap. This song is Lzzy telling everyone to love whoever they want and however they want. If love bites, then bite it right back. For me, it is also saying love with all your heart and passion and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. Give the relationship 100% of you.
Musically, the song was actually inspired by the songs “Slave to the Grind” by Skid Row and “Out ta Get Me” by Guns ‘n Roses. The band covered those songs for the first covers E.P. ‘Reanimate’. The aggression and tempo of those songs was so huge, the band wanted to do something like that. And let me tell you, they captured that energy nicely. This song explodes out of the gate and never slows down. It is fire & brimstone raining down on you! Lzzy is at her best and delivers one of her most powerful vocal performances and proves to me she is a talent like no other and everyone should take notice. Joe Hottinger’s guitar riffs and solo are nasty and he shreds with the best of them. Josh Smith on bass and Arejay Hale are going 100 mph and laying down a pace that is so close to being thrash. It is quite amazing.
For My Sunday Song #239, we are going to talk about the song “Do Not Disturb” by Halestorm. The song is off their current album which is 2018’s ‘Vicious’. The album went to #8 on the Billboard Charts and this song was the 2nd single. It was written by everyone in the band, Lzzy hale, Josh Smith, Joe Hottinger and Arejay Hale.
The song is based on a true story and if you are sheepish about sex, then you might want to stop reading now. There was a night when the band was overseas, Lzzy met another woman and a guy and turned that meeting into a threesome. She figured the band was heading out the next day for another country so why not have a little fun as she would never see them again. The song is extremely suggestive in the lyrics without being dirty or vulgar. Before this song I always wondered what was going on behind a closed hotel door with the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the handle, well, now I know.
Musically, this is really a cool track. The way the guitar riffs, the drum fills and bass line play against each other is great. I like the pacing of the lyrics delivered by Lzzy. There is a really tight groove and the song is a little playful in tone to go along with those tasty lyrics. The song has a sexual tension to it as well and that guitar solo slides in nicely towards the end that seems to be the beginning of the climax of the song. One of the coolest sounding songs the band has ever done.
For My Sunday Song #238, we are going to discuss the song “Freak Like Me” by Halestorm off their stellar album ‘The Strange Case of…” from 2012. The song went to #1 on the US Mainstream Rock Chart and was the band’s first song to do so. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Johnny Andrews and Rob Graves.
The song is basically about being a “Freak” which means being different in any way, shape or form. Whether you are gay or straight, a nerd or a geek or you act differently than the people around you, the song is telling you to embrace it and don’t apologize for it, love you for you and wave the flag of your freakdom! You don’t want to be like everyone else, be an individual…basically…be you!! That is a message that needs to be spread around so everyone knows it’s okay to be who you are.
Musically, the song is a beast. It is a full on rocker, head banging anthem to raise that freak flag!! Lzzy’s vocals are so strong and powerful and she gives her all for the song. The song is personal to her and you can tell that it means a lot to it. She believes it and it comes through. The drumming by Arejay Hale is brutal and thundering along with Josh Smith’s thumping bass. And don’t forget Joe Hottinger’s guitar playing as he is ripping through the riffs and shredding the hell out of his guitar. If you want a song to kick you in your ass, this is it!!
For My Sunday Song #237, we are going to discuss the song “What Were You Expecting” by Halestorm off their 2009 debut album. The song was not a single, but for me helped me get in to the band especially when I found out the song was co-written by Lzzy Hale, James Michael from Sixx A.M. and some due name John Lowery or you might know him as John 5. That was enough for me as John 5 is king!!
The song is about a guy that got a little taste of Mz. Hale and couldn’t get enough. He was desperate to be with her again, but she didn’t really give a crap. She wasn’t in to him and to her it was more of a one night stand than anything serious. He was down on his knees begging for more and she just yelled at him to get up off his knees and be a man and go away. What I love about it is the reversal of the roles. Usually you get this viewpoint from the guys point of view so it is refreshing for the woman to be that way. Lzzy continues to push the boundaries and show there is nothing a man can do that she can’t do better!!
Musically the song totally rocks out. There is an opening eerie guitar riff that sounds like John 5, but it doesn’t show he played on the song so if not, good job by Joe Hottinger on that sound. That guitar sound comes back during the bridge and then the chorus explodes and Lzzy goes all out and sounds so tough and flippant to the guy it is awesome. Arejay Hale pounds away and the drums and with Josh Smith they lay the foundation and rhythm of the song. Sometimes it is great just to put the pedal to the floor and go all out and that is what they do with this one.
Halestorm is one of the best bands to come on to the scene in the last 12 years. Fronted by the powerhouse, Lzzy Hale, the band brings it heavy and has no apologies for anything they do. The songs can be hard, almost thrash and the next minute they can be soft and beautiful and then everything in between. The songs are melodic at times and Lzzy can deliver the goods vocally. Joe Hottinger on guitar is sensational and it is nice to see that the guitar still matters in rock music as his sound is what I really love about the band. Then rounding out the rhythm section is Josh Smith on bass and Arejay Hale on drums and both are the driving force behind the band.
The heavier the band gets, the better for me and my ranking might reflect that so sorry but that is what I love about them. I know they only have 4 studio albums so far, but they need to be heard and ranked. To compensate for that shortfall on studio albums, I will rank their 3 Covers EP that they have done in their ‘Reanimate Series’ of albums. That way you hopefully feel like you are getting your money’s worth stopping by here…wait…you aren’t paying to come so I guess no matter I do, you get your money’s worth. Good to know.
So without further ramblings on and on about nothing, let’s get to the rankings.
For My Sunday Song #236, we are going to dig deep in to the song “Private Parts” by Halestorm. The song features Sixx A.M. lead singer James Michael and is off the band’s 2012 album ‘The Strange Case of…’. The album wasn’t a single, hell, it wasn’t even on the main album. The song was only on the Deluxe Edition of the album. Since I am a fan of James, this song really stood out for me and quickly became a fan.
The song is not a sexual song at all as you might expect with a song called “Private Parts”. No, the song is about something so much deeper. It is about a couple that has been together, but she is having trouble getting him to open up. She wants him to let her. Communicate. Be there in the moment. She wants him to show her his private parts…she wants what is inside his heart. She feels like she has done something wrong and is starting to feel like their love isn’t real. He loves her, but for some reason he can’t talk about it. It is actually quite beautifully written and played out in the song as you get the She said/He said approach to the lyrics.
The song opens and has a power ballad feel to it. It only has a piano playing at a slow tempo accompanying the vocals. Then the chorus explodes with a more rocking track. I love how Lzzy sings a line and James answers back as you get to see the conversation played out in the song. His voice compliments hers quite nicely. The song has a great melody and is so catchy it sweeps you up and takes you along for the ride. I find it to be such a beautiful song and nice to see the softer side of the band.
For My Sunday Song #235, we are going to look at the song “Amen” by Halestorm off their 2015 album ‘Into the Wild Life’. The song was released as the second single and went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock tracks, but didn’t chart on the Top 40 because this is not a Top 40 song. It was written by Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger and Scott Stevens (who we’ve seen a lot so far on these songs as I seem to gravitate to his songs unknowingly).
The song is real simple lyrically. It is about doing whatever the fuck you want, but owning it at the same time which you have to if you going to have that attitude. According to Lzzy in a Kerrang interview, the idea for the song came from a Tweet she did that stated…‘This is my life, my love, my sex, my drug, my lust.’… Her friend showed that tweet back to her and told that she needed to turn that in to a song and well, she did just that.
The song was actually recorded in a church, but written prior to knowing they were going to do that. Ironically enough, the song is done in a preaching, church style vocal delivery and it is backed up with that vibe musically as well. It isn’t the heaviest song they have done, but it is a rocker and has short guitar solo that is fitting for the song. The whole song has a Big F.U. feel to it which shows the band is doing things their way and they don’t care what you think. I think we all feel that way at one time or another.
For My Sunday Song #234, we are going to dive in to “I’m Not An Angel” by Halestorm which was off their debut album ‘Halestorm’. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Howard Benson, Kara DioGuardi and Marti Frederiksen which are some heavy hitters in the song writing department. Kara has written a ton of hits and was a judge on American Idol and Marti, who hasn’t he written for might be easier. Pretty strong group for a band’s debut album. The label must have thought very highly of this band and rightfully so.
The song is a sad power ballad. It chronicles a very tragic relationship with Lzzy. Lzzy has been very open about her mental troubles and good on her for that as more discussion is always needed around that topic. The song talks about how the person she was with couldn’t handle all her emotional roller coasters. He saw the issues but tried to stick it out anyway. She tried to push him away, but at the same time couldn’t resist him. It was a very turbulent sounding relationship and she goes on to admit that she wasn’t an angel in this relationship. It is really a beautiful, yet very tragic story.
Musically, the band shows a much softer side to their sound. They are able to tone things down, but keep the talent shining. Lzzy shows that her powerful vocals can be also be so tender, thoughtful and bring the emotion needed to convey the story. Everyone’s playing served the song with no showboating and it was great to see this side of the band.
For My Sunday Song #233, we are discussing the song “Painkiller” by the band Halestorm. The song is off their 2018 album ‘Vicious’ which went to #8 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The album produced 5 singles, however, this was not one of them. This is a deep cut that is one of my favorite songs on the album. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger and Scott Stevens who helped write the song “Mz. Hyde”.
The song doesn’t really have any deep meaning. It focuses on how you get so in to a person that you become addicted to them. They take all the pain away and make you feel so good. You end up craving them, wanting them ever second. You can never get enough of them. The become the drug to feed your addiction. Simple enough.
Musically, the song is so freaking heavy. Josh Smith’s bass is a beast as it lays down this nasty bass line. Arejay Hale’s drum sound is immense and sounds like an explosive cloud of thunder and is only missing the lightning. But I guess the guitar work by Joe would be the lightning as it flashes in with some nasty riffs. Lzzy’s vocals are strong, powerful and one of the best vocalist in the rock scene today. She sings on this with that addict intensity and is what the song needs to take it over the top. It is brilliant.
For My Sunday Song #232, we are going to discuss the ballad “Dear Daughter” by Halestorm off their 2015 album ‘Into the Wild Life’. The song wasn’t a single, but actually became very popular with fans, so much in fact a video was made for the song. The album went to #5 on the Billboard Charts and did really well for the band with songs like this one.
“Dear Daughter” is a tribute to Lzzy Hale’s and Arejay’s parents as they are brother and sister. Lzzy’s parents were so supportive for what her and her brother wanted to do with their life although they were terrified for their kids on the tough path ahead of them. After a conversation she had with her mom, Lzzy went to social media actually asked her fans…what do you wish your parents had said to you? Those responses inspired her to write this song using the answers she received from her fans. It is a really cool idea. With the song, Lzzy has said she is “passing the torch” to each little girl in the audience so they can see you can do whatever you want to do in your life.
The song is a ballad and for a heavy guitar band, it is great to see their softer side with a piano based song for which Lzzy wrote the music on. Lzzy wrote it with fellow bandmate Joe Hottinger and composer Dave Bassett. It is a beautiful song and so different that anything else the band had done it was really refreshing to see the softer side of the band. Apparently the version we here is only the 2nd take of the song. I guess she really was inspired.