Historically, rock music has been a haven for strong, bold and extremely talented female musicians. Names such as Pat Benatar, Suzi Quatro, Siouxsie Sioux, Janis Joplin and dozens more have achieved iconic status over the years. In modern rock, one of (if not the) best female voices going belongs to Halestorm's Lzzy Hale. On this new stripped back acoustic EP, we get to hear those staggering vocals in their full glory.
These acoustic reprises of songs that appeared on Halestorm's 2018's album 'Vicious' show the band in a whole new light. The first of the tunes to feature is 'Black Vultures' with its trickling guitar input and gutsy vocal performance. Following this is the sexy, sleek and stamping acoustic flow of 'Do Not Disturb'. The original version of this song was already lyrically vivid and teasing, but this slower take easily emphasises the emotions.
Although 'Chemicals' didn't make the cut for the original 'Vicious' tracklist, it does appear here. With its catchy beat, 'Chemicals' swiftly proves to be the best song on the entire EP. The raw, stripped-back edge of this release subsides as the soft and tranquil piano-tinted 'Heart of Novacaine' enters the fray. Lzzy Hale's roaring vocal delivery is still present, but it mixes with the more docile side of her voice at stages also. Concluding this calm, easy listening EP is 'The Silence'. The album version of 'The Silence' was already a hair-raising, emotive and awe-inspiring experience, but the acoustic take elevates the song to new heights of meaning.
Overall, there was never any doubt that this would be a good EP, but Halestorm have ensured that 'Vicious (Stripped)' is in fact a great EP. If you need proof that Halestorm are one of the best rock bands in the world right now, then look no further than this.