Brand New Sin

Tequila

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All too often, artists who showed great promise on their first albums ran out of steam by their second or third albums; their noble intentions, sadly, did not sustain them for very long. But that isn't a problem for Brand New Sin, who showed considerable promise on their self-titled debut album of 2002 and keep the artistic momentum going on their third album, Tequila. All of the influences that served Brand New Sin so well in 2002 continue to serve them well on this 2006 recording -- influences that range from Pantera, Metallica, Motörhead and Guns N' Roses to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Corrosion of Conformity and Down. But Tequila never sounds derivative -- not at all. Brand New Sin might love and respect their influences, but they never go out of their way to emulate them; they are admirably distinctive themselves, and their originality is very much in evidence on forceful, bluesy, whiskey-soaked offerings such as "Reaper Man," "Motormeth," "Said and Done" and "Spare the Agony." While Tequila is consistently relevant to the alternative metal scene of 2006, Brand New Sin never sacrifice their sense of the blues; their roots run deep, and they have no problem drawing on different rock eras (or even pre-rock eras) for inspiration. One of the tracks, in fact, is a delightfully swampy performance of the standard "House of the Rising Sun" (which has been recorded by everyone from Roy Acuff to the Animals to Joan Baez over the years). Lead singer Joe Altier is still a major asset for Brand New Sin; his vocals are consistently passionate and assured, and the bluesiness in his voice is perfect for the band's hard-driving yet melodic approach. From Altier's confident performances to Brand New Sin's attractive sound to consistently excellent material, Tequila is another creative home run for Brand New Sin.

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