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Black Brew
Black Brew
August 2010
Released: 2010, Self Released
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Black Brew from La Verne, California who play modern hard rock and draw their influences from a wide gamut of artists from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to Alice In Chains, and Black Label Society.

"Morbid Rage" begins with a bouncy riff that otherwise would have sounded a bit to radio friendly for my tastes, like a mixture of Nickelback or Godsmack, but vocalist Kurt Loun's traditional hard rock delivery makes up for that and gives this song the proper metal edge it was in need of.

The production on this record is not the greatest, at best it sounds like it was recorded in a home project studio, but believe it or not the rawness of the production seems to work well for Black Brew and I'm not entirely convinced a super slick studio treatment would serve to make their music sound any deeper. "Last Chapter" mixes wah-wah funk and Zakk Wylde pinch-harmonic heaviness, with bluesy vocals and female backup vocals. You can't call Black Brew unoriginal at least. Guitarist Jimmy Ash shines with a pretty blazing guitar solo on this track. "Society's Whore" falls a bit flat with some awkward vocal phrasing in the first verse, before picking up some momentum mid track. "I Am The One" is an introspective journey for the band lyrically, where as musically you get more of the same bar band boogie woogie the bulk of this album's material feeds off of.

This is working man's hard rock, not overly concerned about over complicating things with niche genres like power metal, speed metal, death metal. I imagine Black Brew probably enjoy the music on the Alt Rock FM station as much as they appreciate the new Ozzy record, throw in some neon Bud Light signs, a possible doobie, a mediocre PA and you'll find a hard working band that like to rock for the sake of rocking.

I'm not going to dock points on this release based on the said music not being my cup of tea, there are some excellent performances from Kurt, Jimmy and the rest of Black Brew on this disc. Having said that, I think that Black Brew should focus a bit further on developing their own definitive sound. The song "Last Chapter" proves that Black Brew does possess some of it's own inherent innovative creative juices, yet the majority of this disc plays a little too much off of flavor of the month radio rock to ever stand on it's own merits.
Track Listing

1. Morbid Rage
2. Last Chapter
3. Breath
4. In Loving Memory
5. Society's Whore
6. Black and White
7. I Am The One
8. Why Me
9. Said
10. Conflict Within


Kurt Loun - Lead Vocals
Joanne Allen - Vocals
Mike Ikona - Drums
Jimmy Ash - Guitar
John Anthony Guy - Bass

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» Black Brew
by Robert Williams

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