“Homecoming Queen” is a cautionary tale of a girl who overdoses on drugs—the victim of unrealistic expectations and pressure. Following breakups, lead singer Austin Winkler regrets causing pain (“By the Way,” “Nothin’ Good About Goodbye”).
That black bar on the CD cover wasn’t Hinder’s idea; it’s our stab at censoring a racy image of a lingerie-clad groupie. Such ’80s-rock hedonism invades the lyrics, too. Winkler wants to “Get Stoned” and make out with a hostile woman (“‘Cause the sex is so much better when you’re mad at me”). Cigarettes on the floor and panties on the doorknob mark a night of wild, drunken sex with a girl whose name escapes him (“Room 21”). A vodka-swilling guy prefers intoxicated “Bliss” to facing reality, while a malicious ex tells the singer she plans to perform oral sex on his best friend (“Nothin’ Good About Goodbye”). “Better Than Me” reminisces about physical intimacy, including a tryst in a mall dressing room. Winkler uses the f-word and an obscene gesture to dismiss a girl who dumped him, still obsessed with how a new lover may be touching her (“How Long”). There’s more language, plus photos of alcohol use.
Hinder is on record as saying it wants to revive an era when rockers’ decadent lifestyles transcended the music. Booze. Pot. Casual sex with fans. Encourage adolescents to avoid their Extreme Behavior.