NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When four-piece hard rock band Halestorm went back into the studio to work on their fourth album, they had already thrown out a bunch of songs they felt sounded too much like songs they had recorded before.

Led by frontwoman Lzzy Hale, the Grammy-winning group has been dealing with critics for years saying they leaned too pop and didn't shred hard enough. But the band wasn't trying to please everyone, because they just wanted to keep evolving.

On "Vicious," out Friday, the group worked with acclaimed rock producer Nick Raskulinecz (RASK-yoo-lihn-ex) who pushed them in the studio to play faster and sing harder. The band will kick off the second leg of their U.S. tour with all female-fronted rock bands on Friday in Kansas City.