Already an acclaimed and fervently followed band Brand New Sin return with their fifth album United State, a release bursting with compulsive and formidable hard rock sounds and strongly provocative lyrics that tap into the thoughts and feelings of the world today. The band from Syracuse, New York fully focused attention on themselves with their previous album Distilled in 2009. Now with United State they have raised the stakes higher with songs that ripple with confidence and defiance against the wrongs of the world from an autobiographical view that is rife within a big majority.
Released October 11th via Goomba Music United State flows with hard rock songs tinged with attitude not far removed from original punk which at times overflows into the sound to great effect as in the striking ’Your Song And Dance’, a song bristling with bustling drums behind a sound reminiscent of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers mixed with The Clash fused into a great rock ‘n’ roll blast.
On the whole though the album delivers engaging and forceful hard rock sounds starting with the opening track of ‘The Lord Came Down’. With an eager riff and exited rhythms the quartet of Kris Wiechmann (vocals/guitar), Chuck Kahl (bass), Kevin Dean (drums), and new lead guitarist Tommy Matkowski stand tall as they unveil the song and what is ahead throughout the album, a strong and impressive start that opens up the album with a firm welcome.
‘Know Yourself’ steps up next with a heavy robust riff and intense hard rock play infused with a creative solo that trips into the ear very easily and is the first indication of the band’s variety of sound and influences within the release. From this heavy brute of a song Brand New Sin switch to a Thin Lizzy grounding in ‘All My Wheels’ a song that is destined to be many a fan’s favourite followed by a southern bluesy gem in ‘Rotten As Hell’. Though there is a core sound to their music the band bring a distinct and varied spice to each song that makes United State vibrant and enjoyable.
The album is consistent but some tracks lift it more than others with a spark within that at times is less defined in others. The Dr Feelgood like ‘Bed Of Nails’ is gloriously incessant and pulsating and impossible not to join in with whilst the album’s best track ‘Groups Of 5’ is addictive with a mesmerising hook and lively riffs. Both set the senses racing alongside the great rock ‘n’ roll moments of ‘The Cup And The Lip’ and ‘Goddess Of War’, another two stirring tracks in sound and lyrics delivered firmly and nicely by Wiechmann.
There are no real flaws to United State but it has to be said there are times when the flame blazes more dimly in some tracks than others that keeps it from really inspiring the emotions and makes one feel there is something missing occasionally, though despite saying that the album is a fine slice of rock and it is hard to think of many that have rivalled it so far this year.
The album contains a cover of the AC/DC track ‘What Do You Do For Money’ and the CD format has the added bonus of a cover of Black Sabbath´s ‘The Wizard’ which slide in alongside the band’s original compositions nicely. United State is a fine album that fires up rhythms and rock riffs to satisfy and delight the ear and even without that extra something to elevate it into a classic it is a release that one revisits time and time again.