Brand New Sin
Black And Blue EP
posted on 3/2005 By:
Good things are happening for Syracuse’s Brand New Sin. They were recently picked up by Century Media, have toured with Slayer and Black Label Society, just landed a spot on the Motorhead/C.O.C. tour, and have also amassed praise from several mainstream sources, including Billboard and CMJ, who called them “the finest rock act to emerge from the underground in recent memory”. Clearly, a lot of people are impressed with this band. It’s just that I’m not among them. Maybe those other guys are right, but to me this seems like another example of fortune smiling on mediocrity. Brand New Sin’s southern fried hard rock is by no means unappealing, but also does little to make a name for itself within the growing pack of bands that play this style very well. Given the work of fellow hard rock oriented bands like Alabama Thunderpussy and Seemless, and heavier acts like C.O.C., Down, and Beaten Back to Pure, to name a few, metal fans have plenty of quality down home metal from which to choose, and Brand New Sin has some catching up to do if they expect to be shoulder to shoulder among these established bands.
From what I can tell, the band and label chose to release Black and Blue in order to have a widely available product to push, in the hopes of capitalizing on the aforementioned momentum, as the EP is being launched in conjunction with the Motorhead/C.O.C. tour. The band has already finished recording Recipe For Disaster, the follow up to their 2002 self titled debut, but since it won’t be released until the summer, has offered up this EP in the meantime. The title track will be the first single from the new album, while the other three tracks will be unique to the EP. Ironically, the title track kicks the album off to a rather slow start, while the supporting tracks gain momentum as the album progresses. “Black and Blue” contains some of the heaviest riffing on the album, and has a nice, head nodding, punchy hard rock feel. However, the song is compromised a bit by rather thin vocals. The tone is fitting, but the performance feels rigid. The next two songs, “Endless” and “Time Tomorrow” have a similar, C.O.C. meets Seven Mary Three sound. The verses pack satisfactory groove, but the choruses lose steam, as the band uses multi-tracked and highly melodic vocals to construct radio friendly rock, a strategy that dilutes the band’s more open, roadhouse sound. The album closes with its best offering, the bluesy “Wasted”. The soulful slide guitar and vocals give the song the down home sound that this style demands. The melodies are more organic and less an obvious attempt at accessibility. At only eighteen minutes long, Black and Blue ends just as it really picks up steam.
Brand New Sin may find more inroads in the hard rock scene, where there seems to be fewer bands offering a similar brand of southern hard rock. Black and Blue will be well received by metal fans that either are new to the southern sound or can’t get enough of it. For everyone else, this EP is not at all objectionable but is unlikely to inspire a shirtless and whiskey drenched evening on the back porch--and that's what I expect out of an album like this. It is a decent listen, if a somewhat questionable purchase.
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