Hinder, "All American Nightmare"

Album Review

Hinder drops its third album, "All American Nightmare," with a chip on its shoulder and a palpable sense of something to prove, given the sophomore sales slump the Oklahoma quintet suffered with 2008's "Take It to the Limit" (469,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan) in comparison with its 2005 triple-platinum debut, "Extreme Behavior." So the group comes out firing hard on "2 Sides of Me" and the title track, channeling four years of heavy touring into tales of wine (or, rather, good beer), women and song. Hinder spends the rest of the set delivering solidly written, meat-and-potatoes tunes made to slide comfortably, if a bit anonymously, into any rock radio playlist. "Put That Record On" slips some country-flavored lope into its verses, while "The Life," "What Ya Gonna Do" and the lush "Everybody's Wrong" provide some ballady respite to the slamming fury of "Waking Up the Devil" and "Strip Tease." Frontman Austin Winkler does have the temerity to ponder what happens "when the whiskey ain't workin' any more." But what Hinder learned on the road, at least according to "All American Nightmare," is how undependable girlfriends are and how badass this hard-partying band can be. That can be a dream or a "Nightmare," depending on the ear of the beholder.