Released: 2005, Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When Century Media announced they had signed Syracuse, New York’s Brand New Sin back in February, it was as good as money in the bank. The band’s self-titled 2002 debut was an ass-kicker of an album but got little attention due to the label folding soon after its release. Still, relentless touring spread the word through the metal community and I was fortunate enough to see them open for Slayer and Hatebreed a few months prior to its release. Fast forward to 2005 and with two new members, Brand New Sin has just released their sophomore disc, RECIPE FOR DISASTER, on Century Media. The label has been pushing this release like crazy and rightfully so, because like its predecessor, RECIPE FOR DISASTER is a monster of riffs, southern groove and straight up hard rock. Joe Altier’s gruff (yet melodic) vocals are perfectly suited to the music and the twin guitar solos and squealed pinch harmonics of Kenny Dunham and Kris Weichmann run rampant throughout. Fans of Down, Black Label Society, Pride & Glory and Godsmack will eat this CD up and the southern rock feel leaves several songs open for potential crossover appeal, as well.
Not sure if the band has been watching too many reruns of YOUNG GUNS on TBS but there seems to be this underlying cowboy/wild west theme that runs through RECIPE FOR DISASTER. The sound of a cocked gun (or is that a beer can??), songs about “boots” and the one-two punch of “Gulch” and “Wyoming.” Saddle up, pardner! “Arrived” kicks off at high noon and the punishing riffs come out fast and furious. This track sets the pacing for what is to come and the band keeps the pedal to the metal. The southern rock vibe of “Brown Street Betty” wraps itself around a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. 2005’s “Riff of The Year Award” has to go to “Black and Blue.” The guitars simply grab the listener by the neck and give you a shake. Altieri’s voice was made for tracks like this as he hits the melodic highs but delivers on the lower register, as well. “Running Alone” nails things with an acoustic guitar riff that is one part Down and one part Lynyrd Skynyrd. Offsetting the moodiness of “Running Alone” is the headbanging fury of “Freight Train.” The guitar team of Dunham and Weichmann show their chops here delivering a smoking solo and more squeals than a slaughterhouse. Altieri flexes his vocal muscles again on “Another Reason” going from a soulful croon to vicious roar and back again without any effort but it is not until “Once In A Lifetime” that he really shines. Further Down influence is evident but the aching passion in his voice evokes memories of classic Skynyrd but with some streaks of Days of The New or even Alice In Chains in the vocal harmonies during the chorus. Close your eyes during “Wyoming” and the swaggering rhythm will have you seeing the sun setting, tumbleweeds blowing and wind on your neck with enough imagination. The ambience created by this track is stunning and wraps things up in a glorious manner.
RECIPE FOR DISASTER is a shoe-in for my own top 10 of 2005. Brand New Sin has taken the scads of talent shown on their debut and build upon it tenfold with anthemic stadium rockers sharing space with bluesy ballads and just the right modern touches. Universal appeal is clearly there and with Century Media backing them, the band should finally get the recognition they deserve because they epitomize everything that has been great in American hard rock and metal over the past thirty years. Hell, the only thing more American is Mom and apple pie!
KILLER KUTS: “Arrived,” “Brown Street Betty,” “Black and Blue,” “Running Alone,” “Freight Train,” “Another Reason,” “Once In A Lifetime,” “Wyoming”