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Mike Hale - Lives Like Mine (Cover Artwork)

Mike Hale

Mike Hale: Lives Like MineLives Like Mine (2009)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: MN_DrNickMN_DrNick
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If there is one growing "trend" (for lack of a better word) going on in the punk scene lately, it's the growing number of acoustic-based singer/songwriter acts emerging. Most of these acts are lead singers of bigger-named bands (Hot Water Music and Avail, for example). And what most of these acts go.
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If there is one growing "trend" (for lack of a better word) going on in the punk scene lately, it's the growing number of acoustic-based singer/songwriter acts emerging. Most of these acts are lead singers of bigger-named bands (Hot Water Music and Avail, for example). And what most of these acts go for sound-wise are an Americana/folk sound (Chuck Ragan and Tim Barry). But Mike Hale of Gunmoll and In the Red fame is one of the few not going for that sound with his acoustic act.

His first album, the Asian Man-released Broken with No Hope, was a damn good effort. Some songs I felt could have easily been used for Gunmoll songs, only if sped up. It was filled with heart-wrenching/soul-searching ballads. His followup here, Lives Like Mine, is just as heart-wrenching and, at times, depressing.

One thing that makes this album stick out the most for me is the production. The guitar work is very different; it has the perfect mix to help deliver the songs (the bright reverb heard in most of the pieces), and even the piano-played pieces (which were not on his first album). But what works great with Hale's music in this album is the use of Alyson Seconds (Kevin Seconds' wife). Her backup vocals help provide the balance it needs to accompany the gruff voice Hale uses. The combination of the two voices really works, especially on the title track and "Places Everyone" (my favorite off this album).

The whole album, to me, just feels like one bearing his soul, full of angst and heartbreak. It's haunting and beautiful at the same time. It also feels that Mike Hale is growing as a songwriter even more. It should be very interesting to see where he goes from here on his next album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Chuck Ragan - Gold CountryDear Landlord - Dream HomesAmerican Steel - Dear Friends and Gentle HeartsPropagandhi - Supporting CasteStrike Anywhere - Iron FrontThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundLucero - 1372 Overton ParkPolar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgChris Wollard and the Ship Thieves - Chris Wollard and the Ship ThievesBanner Pilot - Collapser

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
leatherfacefan (January 15, 2011)

I love this album so much! I'm really looking forward to his next release too, because it'll have some of the great songs he played at the Bad Astronaut concerts, like Goodbye California/Lazy Like Rita, and the one about leaving his southern dreams at home.

lushj (December 6, 2009)

Wait, this isn't Mike Hale of PISS JAR & THE CRIMINALS? Uh oh...

mattbeall (December 6, 2009)

If you don't respond to the chorus of the title track I think something is wrong with you. That melody is so f'ing pretty.

eran_zombis (December 5, 2009)

mucho respect. his live 'skulls' cover rules.

xshoutoutx (December 5, 2009)

no one does this "trend" better than mr. mccaughan. I almost like sundowner as much as I like the limbs. Gunmoll was good, mike's solo stuff is insipid.

drewshaw (December 5, 2009)

Not as good as the first in my opinion

puncanoes (December 4, 2009)

i heard ernest borgnine is trying to get this guy to make a tv show with him called Mike Hale's Navy.

MN_DrNick (December 4, 2009)

This got posted pretty quick. I should add that it's not as complex as his work in Gunmoll and In The Red. It's just simple but not boring. I guess some people have to be pretty depressed/emo to enjoy the living crap out of it.

SloaneDaley (December 4, 2009)

saddest album of the year. STORY TIME MIKE HALE

half_head (December 4, 2009)

i'll check this out based on the review but i remember not being into it when i listened to a few songs some time back. score is for the label!

preston (December 4, 2009)

I really like Gunmoll, I like In the Red, but I can't dig Mike's solo stuff.

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