Brand New Sin

Recipe for Disaster

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Because Brand New Sin singer Joe Altier's tuneful growling style rings quite similar to that of many a mid-2000s commercial hard rock singer (Scott Stapp and Chad Kroeger, to name but two), some listeners may hastily and unfairly dismiss this Syracuse quintet as yet another face in an already mundane crowd. But just a little bit of patience will be enough to prove that Brand New Sin and their second album, 2005's Recipe for Disaster, actually offer a whole lot more; typical, barn-burning tracks like "Arrived," "Days Are Numbered," or the excellent "The Loner" more accurately falling somewhere between Corrosion of Conformity (yes!), Black Label Society (hmmm?), and, yes, a little bit of Nickelback, too (ugh!). And yet, this is only the tip of the group's iceberg lettuce, and Recipe for Disaster continues to impress following irresistibly frenetic EP favorite "Black and Blue," which paves the way for increasingly formula-free material such as the tom-on-the-floor, acoustic guitar-strummed "Running Alone," the darker-tinged, more dramatic flair of "Vicious Cycles," and, combining the two strains, a pair of heartfelt love songs in "Once in a Lifetime" and "Wyoming." Hardly completely without fault, however, Recipe for Disaster's second half does stall on a few too many stock hard rockers; guitarists Kenny Dunham's and Kris Wiechmann's riffs and solos, while never anything less than interesting, are rarely unforgettable; and claims of the band's deep absorption of Southern rock are most definitely overstated. And still the final balance shows Brand New Sin's sophomore outing to be a fine one, with more than enough high-water marks to counter the lows, and more than enough sheer "rawk" gumption to stand out from the cookie-cutter radio rockers out there. [Recipe for Disaster's multimedia section contains a promo video for album highlight "Black and Blue," which, though professionally produced, proves that Brand New Sin's gnarly, hairy biker look won't be making them into teen pinups anytime soon.]

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