Hinder - The Reign

Hinder The Reign cover
The Reign
The End Records
Average: 4.9 (70 votes)
Hinder burst into the scene many years ago, and in their sixteen years of existence, including a rather long hiatus during which their original singer Austin Winkler left to pursue a solo career “that hasn’t quite gotten off” and the band had to wait, until they found Marshal Dutton to take over… thing is, the replacement may have disappointed some people that weirdly enough perceived the band as neo glam instead of post grunge/alternative and thankfully Dutton is both charismatic enough to keep the band going, but also clearly “alternative” enough in a good way. A way that helps the band define and refine the sound, making it more melodic and poppier, which in their case ain’t such a bad thing. They are able to pull off this style a lot better, than when they tried to glam it up for their third abum, which is not what the band is all about.
This Creed meets a more melodic Papa Roach, meets dynamic Linkin Park sort of amalgam that sounds like a lighter and much better Nickelback, is actually not bad, often surpassing a lot of the aforementioned bands most recent offerings. In fact, I liked the album more than I’d like to admit, because despite conforming to the standards of the genre its in, it doesn’t sound uninspired, as it does change sufficiently from song to song, to keep the listener from being bored. I ain’t got preconceptions about how music should be, but it just so happens that a lot of the 90s and post bands tend to have weaker, more groove than hook oriented songwriting and Hinder manages to balance their act, quite well, not repeating themselves terribly. Of course they’re not the “apocalypse”, hell they might not even be Ron Jeremy’s, but at least they don’t bore ya.
The title track is an energetic alt rocker with enough oomph and quite a hook/a sing-a-long chorus. Not entirely unlike what they have done in the past, but more refined and less wiggy.
“Burn It Down” is the sort of 90s “sad/ballad” song that STP would become famous for but done a whole lot better and the eastern modes in the middle add an interesting slant.
“King of the Letdown” is a rhythmical one but thankfully more Gun than say Limp Bitzkit (thank god)…
“Remember Me” is a bonefide hit, a melodic modern track with an amazing chorus that’s hard to ignore; it even has a nice, if not brief solo for God’s sake!
In “Too Late” the band goes on an almost full on Bon Jovi mid-tempo mode that’s odd… but not necessarily bad.
“Another Way Out” attempts to be another “Remember Me” time of hit, but while it’s a bit more “by the numbers”…
On “Making It Hard” it’s the hairy side of Steel Hinder taking over and while they even pull even this better with Dutton than Winkler, they’re not hair metal and when they try to be, it barely passes off as genuine. While they’re not doing the style a disservice, they’re simply better of when they are more alternative.
“Drink You Away” is an even worse offender, a poppy hairy even slightly country tinged number that really might be trying to diversify and broaden the band’s appeal, but sounds a bit too wimpy.
“Play to Win” is revving up things again, but without being filler, it pales in comparison to some songs that precede it. Thankfully it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
“Long Gone” sounds like something latter day Linkin Park could have written, but a tad more refined.
And last and least, interesting comes the “Loser’s Salute”, a rather meh song that goes nowhere quickly after an interesting intro. It’s funny in its own twisted way, occupying a weird space between I dunno, maybe UKJ, Kid Rock and a bottle of moonshine. It even has the hickiest low-fi outro you’ve ever heard.
Well, had this come out on Universal, there’s a couple of songs on this one that could easily get some airplay on “The End” without any disrespect, who knows. Actually after being fairly unimpressed at large by Hinder, they do manage to get some of my attention with this sophomore album with a “different” singer, who seems to be a much better fit than the first. Good job, gentlemen.

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