From the very sound of their name - a name shared by their 2009 debut - Halestorm sounds like a generic active rock band of the 2000s, and to a certain extent that's true: the band does specialize in strident power chord rock not too dissimilar from what their former tourmates Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, and Trapt sound like. What sets Halestorm apart from their pack is lead singer Lzzy Hale, the rare female in this testosterone-obsessed sound. Unlike Evanescence's Amy Lee, there isn't a shred of brooding gothic romanticism to Hale: she's a straight-out rock chick, the farthest thing from an angel, a tough girl who gets off on the fact that you're getting off on her. The mere fact that she flips mook-rock on its head is enough to give Halestorm an identity in a genre ruled by anonymity, but they also stand apart from the pack because they've studied not only the scale of classic arena rock but also its hooks, another area that's typically neglected by the male-fronted aggro-rockers. Of course, having Lzzy as their frontwoman does allow Halestorm to sneak in some flair, such as the Queeny pre-chorus of "Love/Hate Heartbreak," and it also allows them to flirt with genuine crossover power ballads like "Bet U Wish U Had Me Back," which sounds a bit like a louder, angry Kelly Clarkson. This gives them more variety than almost every other band of their ilk, but it's the combination of the group's pop skills and Lzzy Hale's charisma that makes Halestorm a bit of a pleasure, albeit somewhat of a guilty persuasion for some.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine