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Haliwel - 'From The Inside' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f3/c3/40/haliwel-from-the-inside-95-1423336350.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 07, 2015    
 
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Certainly not a bad effort and there is definitely something to build on.

Haliwel are a Modern Rock five-piece based in Madison, Wisconsin (home of the mighty Green Bay Packers [impressive reference – Ed]) and 'From The Inside' is their debut full-length release. The band is made up of Justin Schmitz (vocals), Max Neal (drums), Travis Malin (guitar), Ryan Seney (bass) and Shawn Streeter (guitar) who all came together following brief stints in other bands in and around the Madison area.

The bio references the likes of Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry as comparisons but I think these are more influences rather than an indication of the band's sound. If I had to make comparisons of my own then I'd choose early Staind or Fuel with a hint of Breaking Benjamin thrown in. One thing I was impressed to learn was that everything is done in-house. From artwork and merchandise to websites and videos, nothing is done by anyone unrelated to Haliwel and that deserves a huge dose of credit.

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My main criticism is that the material lacks something to lift it to a quality level. The angst within the songs is fine by me but the melodies and hooks fail to impact for the most part so maybe this is an area where some outside help would prove beneficial. There are no real stand-out tracks and the writing formula tends to become repetitive. Even after several plays I'm pushed to bring to mind any of the songs, though whilst the album is playing, I can relate to the music quite a lot. 'From The Inside' is self-produced (on a small budget I'm guessing) and the sparse sound gives the songs a raw live feel.

This is certainly not a bad effort and there is definitely something to build on. If Haliwel can come up with a few memorable songs and create a stronger identity then they will be one to watch.

Dave Bott

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