"BlackBrew" (Self-produced; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

On their self-titled album, BlackBrew play some kickass rock'n'roll: Chunky guitars, a thumping and throbbing rhythm section, songs that are well-written and loaded with hooks. This is metal in the vein of later Black Sabbath or Alice in Chains, rather than the speedy chaos of, say, Slipknot.

The band uses an interesting combination of male and female vocals. It's not so much a clean/growl approach but the juxtaposition between male and female has nearly the same effect.

Most of the songs hereon are hard rockers although there is a ballad or two that are, for the most part, well done. One of those ballads, "Why Me," brings to mind one of the songs that could arguably be called the beginning of hard rock ballads, "I Think I'm Going Blind" by Kiss. "Why Me" doesn't emulate that track but it does remind me of its style and prowess.

The production is a little stiff here and there but it doesn't detract from the overall effect. An entertaining album through and through.

BlackBrew: Kurt Lown - lead vocals; Joanne Allen - vocals; Mike Ihona - drums; Jimmy Ash - guitar; John Anthony Guy - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:47 -0500.