Hinder – ‘The Reign’

By Chris Hilson

In the sixteen years since they formed, Hinder have carved out a sizeable fan base for themselves and have regularly placed towards the top of the Billboard charts in America. Outside of the USA their impact is much less noticeable or impressive, and unless you have an insatiable thirst for derivative ‘alternative’ rock by numbers then ‘The Reign’ is only likely to disappoint.

Even when listening to the album for the first time you will feel like you’ve heard it many times before. From the moment it starts to the painfully drawn out end eleven songs later, there is zero excitement or imagination to be found, no matter how hard you look. You can correctly predict the DNA of the song within seconds of the intro, such is the way that every song stays within the tight confines of every hard rock stereotype that Hinder wheel out.

Every tired riff, lazy production effect, and attempt at edginess only serves to increase the constantly growing feeling of familiarity. You could even amuse yourself by ticking off each cliché as you hear it. ‘Too Late’ is the expected lighters-in-the-air, wannabe Guns N Roses rock ballad, whilst ‘King Of The Letdown’ is the unsurprising radio friendly twist on already watered down crowd-pleasing rock.

Much of the album meanders by in an indistinct haze of filler despite a couple of feeble attempts at injecting some energy into proceedings. ‘Remember Me’ features a brief guitar solo, but chances are that you will have forgotten that and the rest of the song by the time it finishes. The initially plodding ‘Burn It Down’ does attempt to add some muscle, but it remains a skeleton of a song that is quickly dismissed.

The lack of flow to ‘The Reign’ only makes its multitude of problems more apparent as Hinder first try to appeal to your angst-ridden inner teenager before trying to charm your inner classic rock loving ex-roadie. Quite who Hinder are trying to appeal to with ‘Making It Hard’ is unclear, as it features the sort of sad and outdated sexual innuendo that is of interest to absolutely nobody.

Bands such as Halestorm and Shinedown also deal in a similar sort of histrionic arena-rock and it would be easy to argue that Hinder are only trying to please their fans and keep pace with their rivals. However that’s no excuse for such a complacent and lacklustre approach to making music. With ‘The Reign’ Hinder have really started to take their foot off the gas and it seems unlikely they’ll be bothering the Billboard charts any time soon.


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