Welcome to the Freakshow

Welcome to the Freakshow

As legend has it, Hinder sifted through somewhere between 50 and 70 songs to pick the 11 tracks for its fourth studio album. Add to this the on-record reports that the band’s infamously indulgent frontman Austin Winkler checked into rehab immediately after recording Welcome to the Freakshow, and you have the kind of rock ‘n’ roll lore that makes for top-shelf hype. But from the volatile opener, “Save Me” (where Winkler screams “I’ve cut my demons loose!”), to the closing homage to megalomania, “Wanna Be Rich,” it’s more than possible that the hype's legit. With “See You in Hell,” Hinder has crafted a perfect hard-rocking, parent-hating anthem that sounds best when blasted immediately after slamming the bedroom door. Conversely, the sultry and seductive “Ladies Come First” oozes the kind of leathery sleaze normally reserved for Rob Zombie movies and pole-dancing accompaniment. Of course it wouldn’t be a proper Hinder album without such Zippo-hoisting power ballads as “Should Have Known Better,” “Talk to Me,” and “Anyone but You.”

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