Hinder: All American Nightmare Review

On December 7, 2010, in Concert Reviews, by admin

Hinder "All American Nightmare" Released Today

Hinder Website

Please let me enduldge myself: This is my little passion of a rock band. Even though they get largely panned by the media as a Motley Crue wanna be, I have gone on record on this site previously stating they are one of the best rock bands to come out in the last 5 years. Today, Hinder released their third album, “All American Nightmare”.  Rumor has it they pulled this forward to a December release from a previously planned January or February release. Hinder, from Oklahoma City hit the scene several years back with the instant single hit “Lips of An Angel” which climbed both the pop  and country charts (the latter was a re-make by John Anderson). The initial album sold north of 3M copies, quite a feet in this age of iTunes.  Their second follow up sold over a million copies, but not much further. The second was a lavish production in packaging and excess, including DVD about the making of the album. With the lessor sales, I have no doubt the record company took a bath on this one.  The second was a near carbon copy of the first in song writing style…something probably not noticed by the average consumer. The footprint was amazingly similar.  “Without You” copied the style and format of writing of “Lips Of An Angel”. “Use Me” was a footprint of “Get Stoned”, and so on.  The whole album was hook laden.  I am not saying they did not try anything new on the second, but clearly it was a 80% attempt to duplicate commercial success.  Tough call.  This is a fickle, at best, music industry filled with a buying public with serious Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.


All American Nightmare Cover

With All American Nightmare, gone is the lavish packaging. Gone are the girly pictures in a multi-page spread inside the CD packaging. Largely gone are the obvious hooks.  To a lessor extent, the song structure is a bit more complex with most entires. Now of course, reviews and reviewers are nothing more than opinions, all based upon what the reviewer expects. I expected some growth in their musical approach. I got it overall. This album sounds much less like the others.  There is a distinct blues approach in the guitar riffs The songs continue to be rather short in length, but they pack good music into them.  There are only ten songs, so overall, you can listen while you empty the dishwasher and then get on with your life.  One day I would like to see this band break out with some jam in thier music.  Put in a song that is 6:00 plus. Play lead more than in the riff or the musical bridge. Their guitarist Blower is just dying to break out if I read his actions properly in the 5 times I have seen this group live (Check out the post from last week, here). The subject of the lyrics are still pretty much still Hinder. Drinking, chicks, rock music, all of the normal.  Audiences are likely to be quite bored with the same ole same ole. This is not quite the careful album of the others, as the music once again sounds a bit different without loosing their signature Hinder sound. Back to expectations. I just expected that they would progress a little more. Take a few more chances…lenghten the songs, play some lead, be a little careless and less structured in the music, breakout, and be musically wild like they like to convince you they are in their lives….not gonna happen here, apparently.

I imagine they are still playing straight into their target demographic, younger twenty somethings. I do not fit this group. I am a music nut who listens to songs on multiple levels. So take the opinion for what it is.  Overall, this is very listen-able music.  A little less (very slightly less) poppy than their first two outings. The hard rock songs are a bit more harder, but then there are a few more slower songs as well. The main strong point of this album is that the songs have a very personable, listen-able feel to them. None of them are going to motivate you to push the songs viral into your Facebook  or other Social Network friends, but the whole album can be listened to as back ground or unoffensive party music. Each song is well produced in signature Hinder style.  The musician ship is tight and Austin Winkler’s voice continues to be strong in the pseudo gravelly sound that is his style .On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, I give this effort a 6. This is worth the buy or download from iTunes.  Out of the 10 songs, about 3-4 will find their way onto my iPod/iPhone. (I do not load entire CDs, I cherry pick based on the best ((in my opinion)) songs). I will tell you, that I purchased this at Best Buy although I seriously dislike Best Buy.  I wanted the CD as I pay close attention to packaging as well as the music. The suggested price of this CD is $9.99….so if you see it in a store higher than that, do not buy it.  It is marked up past the suggested.  Best Buy went the other direction on the release day.  I purchased for $7.99, a full $2 less than suggested retail and what you will likely be able to purchase “All American Nightmare” on iTunes as a download.

Seems Hinder has put themselves on sale to push CD/downloads. Ah, they continue to bow to that great commercial god, who feeds these musicians well . I predict this will have an issue breaking the 1M mark in album sales. I think largely, the buying public is beyond this group in its current format as it refuses to change…..but, that said, I like them, and I think those who like this kind of music will if they give themselves a chance to listen.


Monday night November 29 saw Hinder, Saving Abel, My Darkest Days, and Default foll into town on this post Thanksgiving holiday Monday night. This was held at the Palladium Ballroom, Dallas Texas. I could not miss the opportunity to see Hinder in a small venue.  Saving Abel, and My Darkest Days were also on the bill.  Default was as well, but not reviewed as alas, traffic hang ups had us inadvertently hanging up on Default.  No worries, had seen them twice previous with only moderate results.

My Darkest Days

Canadian Band founded by the most successful Canadian band

It started with My Darkest Days. This is an interesting outfit from Toronto, Canada.  Fairly new to the national scene, they were discovered by fellow Canadian Chad Kroger of Nickelback.  Not bad backing.  The group was founded by lead singer Matt Walst, whose brother plays bass for Three Days Grace. So they are no stranger to the head start in a clogged industry.  I was impressed with these lads. They have a straight ahead approach to the music and stage presence.  I had already known them from their single which I down loaded into my iPod a few weeks back (not realizing they were on this bill).  I will be downloading a few more. The music is labeled ‘post grunge’, whatever that means. I found it to be very hard with melodic hooks for choruses that fit well into the music. Nothing musically is too difficult here.  I was impressed with the harmonies, however. The second guitarist, a multi hair do colored Mohawk kind of guy shared vocals with strength, and exquisite harmonies.  There you go….there is no harmonizing in grunge.  Great act.  Hope they see more success.

Saving Abel was next.  This is the third time seeing them, the first in smaller venue.  These guys will release their second album shortly. They played the single off of the new album, one that is decent, but nothing to get too excited about.  It is a clever lyric for the chorus and that is about it.  I was not too impressed this time with this group. I cannot put my finger on it, but it just seem the act and presentation was false on several levels.  It did not help when the lead singer started tearing up during yet another tribute to our military (one day I would really like to see any number of these bands quit the tributes, dawn the battle fatigues, and really understand what the military goes through daily.  Not that I know either, but I’m just sayin’. This guy wiped, or pretended, to wipe tears from his eyes from the moment he introduced the song and throughout.  At a certain moment, I felt like I was listening to, well, most of you know what…will not say it here. And the drummer, he must have been high as a kite. He glared in awesome wonder around the room as he adequately addressed his drumming duties.  His pupils were the size of dollar coins. Oh wow, man. I am not saying that Saving Abel was bad, it just did not do much for me on this night. The friends I attended with enjoyed them immensely, so trust their judgement.  They go to alot of concerts as well. As for my opinion,  They are better suited on a multi-band bill in a larger venue playing the allotted 40 minutes.


We will see what the new album brings

Hinder. Now these guys from OKC yield a variety of opinions from music listeners.  There was a group that frequently goes with us to concerts that would not pay to see them. Too soft (not the word he used).  Others write them off as a pop band who has worn out the welcome carpet with their intentional designs to mirror the Motley Crue lifestyle (self admitted by Hinder). Other consider them just plain pop music. However, I tag them as the best band to come out in the last five years.  They have had some staying power.  The first album sold north of 3 Million, the second approached 2 Million…now kids, this is not easy in the days of downloads.  They played four songs off of the new album to be released Tuesday, 7 December. I can tell you that from what I heard, the sound will largely be the same as the previous two. Overall the performance was good and well received by the rather sparse crowd of 200 or so. The highlight of the evening was a strong rendition of “Better Than Me” and a strongly performed “Without You”.  On “Lips of an Angel”, they cheapen the guitar up which makes the song less effective.  Hell, I play the song more complexly when performing it acoustically than he does.

As mentioned, the crowd was small.  Clearly the band names in stock this evening could not draw folks out on a post Thanksgiving holiday Monday.  That says something as well. I estimate total revenue for this event at $7,000, parking, drinks, and ticket prices added up.  Ouch.  Somebody lost their ass………

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