The brand-new, fourth album from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (!?) inductee and long-considered aural equivalent of hot garbage is unlikely to turn the tide, but its a dare I say commendable effort. Its hard to hate on a band too much that at least attempts to evolve.
Borrowing elements of pop, country and even electronica, Welcome to the Freakshow is the most forward-thinking, least bad thing Hinder has ever done.
For every step forward (Get Me Away from You), there are two steps back (the thrashy, near-dubstep underpinnings and vomit-inducing lyrics of Ladies Come First), but hey, growing pains are to be expected.
First single Save Me is built on a guitar hook that bears resemblance to Led Zeppelins Kashmir and finds vocalist Austin Winkler delving into nü-metal rapping in the bridge; the track as a whole feels a decade late, as do Freakshow and See You in Hell.
The heavy-handed ballads have always been Hinders stronger (in a loose sense) offerings, and that holds true here. Is It Just Me echoes of alt-90s earnest piano ballads, Should Have Known Better and I Dont Wanna Believe are serviceable, and Anyone But You is just as good as anything else on country radio.
Freakshow doesnt get an A, but Hinder gets an E for effort, and T for nice try. Joshua Boydston