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CD REVIEW: THE NEW BLACK – A Monster’s Life

| 5 March 2016 | Reply

PromoImage

Label: AFM Records

Release Date: February 26, 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Another new band and disc hit my radar and it set me off on a rocking ride that swirls together modern rock, cool metal riffs that draw comparison to classic and modern metal, and killer vocals that draw you in and keep you listening.  With their latest album, The New Black combines all of these different rock components and serves up a killer rock disc.  Disc opener “Long Time Coming” opens with a heavy bottom end, but soon morphs into a solid rocker with industrial tones and chugging guitars mixed together underneath the anthemic feel of the vocals.  The chorus is catchy and should provide a killer opening or closing track when played live.  “Blockbuster Life” showcases a lot of guitar work and a solid rhythm section to open with and builds momentum from there once the vocals kick in.  The layered background vocals add punch to the mood of the track between verses and the chorus.  “Send In The Clowns” is a great track that unfolds like a ballad through the first verse and into the chorus.  The vocals are emotionally driven and emphasize the impact of the lyrics.  The pings and squeals add touches of fun to the track.  “Buddha Belly” has a different vibe and groove than other song son the collection, but soon falls into line with the other tracks once the chorus catches up.  The riff that weaves its way through the verse and chorus offsets the different background vocals and tempo of the track.  “A Pill Named Ting” has an edgy modern rock feel to it that brings a slightly different feel and style to the disc, but one that sits perfectly among the other songs on this collection.  The vocals and guitars really work well together on this song, especially at the chorus.

“With A Grin” is an earthy rocker that chugs along steadily, with vocals that carry the song from open to close.  The bass lines are solid and well-suited against the drums.  The guitar solo at the bridge breathes life into this track and gives it a different feel.  “Dead In The Water” has an infectious tempo that sets the pace for the track, with solid drumming and a droning bass line that anchor the track once the vocals and guitars jump into the fray, creating a killer groove that gets the foot tapping and the head banging.  “The Beer Of No Return” has an Asian flavor during the intro of the track, but soon takes on a chunky rock vibe, thanks to the heavy-handed drumming and bass lines, as well as a solid vocal that adds depth to the song.  The lower register of the vocals rings solidly from first uttered word to the last.  “Better” is a raucous track that brings together a lot of different pieces and sounds from other tracks on the disc, but merges them in a way that makes this the first track in the most infectious one-two punch on the disc, and one of my favorite tracks on the disc, along with the opening song.  Closing track “That’s Your Poison, Not Mine” is a solid song from the first note until the last.  The rhythm section shines on this song and gives the tune fun tempo changes, especially during a guitar-solo infused bridge.  The lyrics are catchy and perfectly delivered.  This is the most fun I have had experiencing a new band lately – check them out if you are looking for quality rock in your collection!

​Tracklisting: Long Time Coming – Blockbuster Life – With A Grin – Send In The Clowns – Dead In The Water – Buddha Belly – The Beer Of No Return – A Pill Named Ting – Better – That’s Your Poison, Not Mine

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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