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Last time I heard the phrase ‘The New Black’ was when Strapping Young Lad released an album with that name, so as you can see I’m unfamiliar with this band. Bearing in mind they’ve only been a going concern since 2009, to find out this is actually their third album means they’ve certainly not hung around releasing material and, apparently, making a name for themselves. Originating from Germany, The New Black already have a pretty convincing CV, supporting the likes of AC/DC, Volbeat, Black Label Society and Alter Bridge. Strangely enough, if you take those bands and add Motorhead, Shinedown, Clutch and Audrey Horne then you’ve got The New Black’s sound sorted! An eclectic mix of names most definitely, but as it says on their press release: “It’s a mix of modern metal and vintage rock ‘n’ roll” and they mix them very well.

‘III: Cut Loose’ opens with ‘Innocence & Time’, probably the best track that Motorhead never wrote! If Lemmy was more tuneful he would indeed sound like The New Black’s unusually monikered vocalist Fludid. All the songs are fairly rapid, clocking in at around the three minute mark, so there is no wastage. The choruses have big hooks; check out ‘Any Colour You Like (As Long As It’s Black)’ for a cracker and it’s all very well produced by the band. Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids) was used to mix and master the album; it is the first time an outsider has been used and he has given the songs a nice crunch without sacrificing the rock ’n’ roll ideology. ‘Superhuman Mission’ is a good example, sounding like a modern day interpretation of Black Sabbath’s ‘Children Of The Grave’. Guitarists Fabian Schwarz and Christof Leim are both very good but I wish there were even more solos. Some of the songs are crying out for extra six-string treatment but, that aside, the more I listen to ‘III: Cut Loose’ the more I like it. With a couple of tweaks here and there this band could really be onto something and might very well appeal to rock and metal fans both old and young. In this genre split day and age, that’s not a bad string to have to your bow.
AFM Records
Review by Rick Tilley
15th March 2013
1) Innocence & Time
2) Count Me In
3) Muzzle & Blinkers
4) Superhuman Mission
5) Cut Loose
6) Any Colour You Like (As Long as It's Black)
7) Burning D; 8) Not Quite That Simple
9) Sharkpool
10) The Unexpected Truth
11) One Thing I Know; 12) Antidote
"With a couple of tweaks here and there this band could really be onto something and might very well appeal to rock and metal fans both old and young."