You might be looking at that picture and wonder why the devil I posted it as part of this blog entry. Here's some thoughts you might be thinking: "Could it be that Phil's upcoming 23rd birthday on Friday has finally made the man senile? Has he totally forgotten who he is? He's gay!" You'd be right to question me. Lucky for you, I already have the answers.

What you see pictured above could well be a marketing ploy aimed at young males, but I am not part of said target audience. Yes, she's voluptuous and beautiful, but no, that's not why I bought the product she appears on. Several years ago, a friend of mine came up with the following piece of advice: never judge a CD by how hot the girl is on the cover. I think, in my case, that I truly do follow said advice. Anyway, what you see there is a CD cover. A CD for which, upon my recent purchase, I have become heartily addicted.

The group's name is Hinder. The album: Extreme Behavior (refer to cover, pictured above). I heard these guys mentioned in passing among friends, and heard fleeting clips of songs on the radio and on friends' iPods. While out shopping, I found it on sale and decided to give it a listen. I did not regret doing so.

What I heard was a wonderful blend of rock music, fun and catchy lyrics, and let's not forget to mention a certain addictive quality to the whole mix. Hinder showcases a unique talent in the Alternative music scene. Influences range from all sorts of musical styles. There's rock rhythms, alternative lyrics, blues chords, and even some country-style vocal qualities thrown in for good measure.

For those who like to compare artists, I would say they could be (regrettably) compared to Nickelback (more for the vocals than anything else, really). Basically, take Nickelback and remove pretentiousness and the sell-out side (Nickleback was much different--and better--in their early days, but that's another story), and add a lot more talent and quality sound. That's Hinder.

As you listen to the album, you'll find yourself repeating tracks over and over, hanging on to singer Austin Winkler's every word. You'll find everything from the subtle to the obvious. And every time you listen, the lyrics seem to ring with some new and different idea. From tracks like "By the Way," "How Long," and "Lips of an Angel," Hinder will surely leave you singing along, and humming their tunes when you're not even listening. So go ahead. Give them a listen. You'll be glad you did.