It's always really interesting when major rock bands take the time to put out an acoustic EP, especially when it's as diverse as Hinder's latest contribution, Stripped. Hinder have put together something truly special here, it's a record that borrows from all aspects of Hinder's sound and reminds us what made the band so great in the first place. Sure there are pop hooks, but there are also country rock elements and even touches of jazz that help to cement how goddamn talented the guys in Hinder are.
With a lot of acoustic records you get the impression that the band did it for their girlfriends to show off their sensitive side. This isn't really the case with Stripped. The songs here carry a lot of attitude and there are is a very real rock and roll energy here. The organic power of the music and the simple set up that the band uses to execute helps to make this record feel like a breath of fresh air. It's easy to get lost up your own ass, even in an acoustic record and use it as an excuse to bring in all sorts of horns and keys. Stripped goes far beyond though. This feels like Hinder are getting back to their roots and once more changing the world.
So we come to the end of the song, but not the end of the albums appeal. Hinder have put out something that feels almost infinitely replayable - the sheer diversity of sounds represented here, even with the stripped (Get it?) set up is still impressive. These guys have long since proved themselves as top notch musicians, and taking this short, beautiful journey with them is comforting for the soul. In a world where we get obsessed with perfect production and elaborate soundscapes, Hinder are keeping it open, honest and sincere.
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