If only every rock singer were as unapologetically confident as Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale. In the past, she’s sung lascivious lyrics like “I get off on you getting off on me” and “Love bites, but so do I” with all the self-consciousness of a Russell Brand character. Now, on “Apocalyptic” — the lead single off the hard-rock group’s third LP, Into the Wild Life — Hale howls, “Like end of the world, break-up sex…baby, love me apocalyptic,” and she sings it like she means it.
But while Hale has packed Into the Wild Life with similarly themed tunes, like the anti-boredom anthem “Mayhem” (“I wanna feel the walls shake,” she sings), what makes it interesting are the risks Halestorm took this time, especially the country influences seeping into the Nashville studio where they recorded. Bluegrass guitar licks weave their way around power chords in “New Modern Love”; the maudlin “What Sober Couldn’t Say” and the sentimental “Dear Daughter” could easily be rewritten for Lady Antebellum.
Some of Hale and her bandmates’ affectations can sound forced, but for the most part, the gambles pay off. As she sings on Wild Life’s “Sick Individual,” “I’m doing this thing called whatever the fuck I want, want, want.” Who needs a comfort zone, anyway?