(Century Media)

01. Said and Done
02. Did Me Wrong
03. Spare the Agony
04. Ice Man
05. The Proposition
06. Old
07. Worm Whore
08. See the Sun
09. Motormeth
10. Numero Dos
11. Elogio
12. Reaper Man
13. Acehole
14. House of the Rising Sun

RATING: 8/10

The time has arrived to stand up and take notice of the no-frills American hard rock of BRAND NEW SIN. "Tequila" is here and the burn never felt so good. Teaming up with producer Joey Z (LIFE OF AGONY, STEREOMUD), the new album is 14 tracks of BNS magic. The southern-tinged and blues-based riffs of guitarist Kenny Dunham and Kris Wiechmann give the album one hell of a punch, while the grit 'n' soul of vocalist Joe Altier makes the already catchy melodies that much more memorable.

And this is a HARD ROCK album first and foremost. "Said and Done", "Spare the Agony", and the up-tempo slammer "Motormeth", not only kick tail, but will have you humming the melodies almost immediately. The southern burnt and mid-tempo "Did Me Wrong" is rough 'n' ready as Altier spits anger, singing "fuckin' bitch did me wrong!"

Mixing things up a bit, spooky vocals and airy guitars are heard on the verses of "Ice Man" and "Reaper Man", the latter sporting a creeping bass line and vocal assistance from Peter Steele (TYPE O NEGATIVE). The band's knack for marrying strong songwriting with whiskey-soaked attitude makes a simple southern blues-burn chorus on "See the Sun" especially effective. If there is any justice in the world, the album's most melodic chorus on "Old" should get the band some rock radio exposure. The slowed-down, seven-minute version of THE ANIMALS' "House of the Rising Sun" is pure soul, that is, until the band shifts gears in up-tempo southern rock style to take the song home.

"Tequila" is a strong rock album from start to finish. BRAND NEW SIN has clearly hit stride. It makes me wonder why I didn't pay more attention to 2005's "Recipe for Disaster". Here's to hoping the boys continue churning out quality American hard rock for many years to come.


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