It’s been a long time coming, and when I say a long time coming, I mean basically a year. “The Inevitability of a Strange World” is Halifax’s debut LP for Drive Thru Records. This album is great. It’s not awesome, it’s not bad, but it’s great. It’ll make for good summer-driving music..or party music, depending on how you look at it. It’s no surprise the content of this album is more concentrated on being a big time rock band as the groups penchant for partying has been made public by several appearances on MTV’s “The Real World.”
The opening riff of “Nightmare” gets your head moving automatically and before vocalist Mike Hunau can even finish the second line of the song, he’s already shown us how powerful his voice can be. This is one of the strongest and catchiest tracks on the album.
The Motley Crue influenced “Our Revolution”(the song blatantly rips off the melody of “Kickstart My Heart” with the blessing of Nikki Sixx himself) presents us with a band that obviously wants to have more fun than bands that take themselves too seriously in this scene. The song was road tested for the past year along with “Nightmare” and contains what is probably one of the cheesiest “shout-a-long” parts on any band’s current touring circuit. Replacing the Crue’s “Whoah, yeah!” to “Hell yeah!”, you can just taste the cheese, but when you’re seeing this band live, you can’t help but shout along. To top things off, there’s an over the top guitar solo. Halifax are as close to hair metal as you can be while still retaining your fans. Honestly, I like hair metal. Maybe that’s why I love this song so much. It’s a feel good track that’s a lot of fun.
Keeping the pace of the album up is “Under Fire.” Interesting rhythm parts and a catchy chorus keep you jamming along for another three minutes.
“Anthem For Tonight”, “Hey Italy”, and “Snow In Hollywood” are more of the same driving rock that’s been playing for the past three tracks. The trio are all solid tracks, but aren’t as compelling as the previous.
“Such a Terrible Trend” will most likely end up on the next incarnation of “Power Ballads.” It’s not that bad of a song, it just brings the album’s fast and furious pace down a few notches.
Luckily, the opening “Ahs” of “Better Than Sex” make up for the slowed-down tempo of “Such a Terrible…” and the song fully kicks in, picking things back up. With Mike’s voice really shining throughout this song, the lyrics of the bridge stick out. “Still why do we breathe sex like lovers, but live like enemies?” The song even has a light breakdown that oddly enough fits in perfectly.
Unfortuately, we’re slowed down again by “Giant in the Ring” which is easily skippable.
What happened to the flow of this album? “Promise Me Tragedy,” “A Tint of Rain,” and “I Told You So” continue the pattern of fast, slow, fast. This band should just stick to writing pounding rock music instead of slow songs that will put you to sleep in thirty seconds.
“Murder I Wrote” closes the album mixing some of the best and worst elements of the band.
Musically, the band has expanded upon what made their EP “A Writer’s Reference” so wonderful. The guitar parts are metal tinged while still retaining their “punky” roots, and let’s not forget that solo in “Our Revolution.” The drumming is solid, and the bass helps keep the rhythm in check.
Lyrically, the band can improve. The “fun” tracks are great for what they are, but aside from “Better Than Sex” the “relationship” tracks need some work.
Dual production from Lou Giordano and Machine took a polished album and gave it a gritty live feel. The result was perfect for all of the faster songs. The band shines live and the “live sound” of the album is close to what you’ll hear when they take the stage.
The only thing strange about this world is that Drive-Thru’s release schedule is back on track. If they keep bringing us solid releases like this, they can easily reclaim their crown as favorite independent label of kids everywhere. As for Halifax, if the band keeps growing and gets the promotion they deserve, they will easily topple the crap passing for rock on the radio right now and will bring the fun back into a corporate market.
2. Our Revolution
3. Under Fire
4. Anthem For Tonight
5. Hey Italy
6. Snow In Hollywood
7. Such a Terrible Trend
8. Better Than Sex
9. Giant In the Ring
10. Promise Me Tragedy
11. A Tint of Rain
12. I Told You So
13. Murder I Wrote