THE NEW BLACK go underwater!
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"These guys completely floored me with their stylish mix of both modern metal and vintage rock 'n' roll. This is a band that could get big if things are done the right way!" (Jacob Hansen / sound engineer)
German bashers THE NEW BLACK have been rocking the metal since 2009, exhibiting real talent and tenacity on a scene cluttered with washed-up has-beens that should have packed it in long ago and newcomers that think musicianship and songwriting comes out of a can marked "Pro-Tools". It's not the typical flapping of music biz gums to say THE NEW BLACK is the ultimate threesome of heavy, melody and groove, something they've proven over two albums - their self-titled debut and “II: Better In Black” - and through nailing live support slots with the likes of AC/DC, Volbeat, Alter Bridge and Black Label Society. The band makes it triumphant return with their all important third album, “III: Cut Loose”, a record that takes the lessons learned over the last four years and puts THE NEW BLACK in a league several cuts above where they started.
"On the first album we were just shooting from the hip," says guitarist/co-founder Christof Leim. "On the second album we thought a lot more about what we were doing and we experimented quite a bit. Some of those ideas worked and some didn't, so we discovered who we were as a band. On this third album we're reaping the fruits of our labours. We know what makes the five of us tick musically, we wrote a bunch of songs that we liked, and we were confident about what worked when we were putting the album together."
Not ones to be accused of cranking out basic three chord pint-of-beer rock 'n' roll, the band keeps the songs heavy, intricate, yet catchy all the way through. THE NEW BLACK's established arsenal of trademarks is fully loaded for “III: Cut Loose”, making rockers like 'Superhuman Mission', 'Any Colour You Like (As Long As Its Black)', ‘Muzzle & Blinkers’, 'Sharkpool' and 'Not Quite That Simple' guaranteed fan favourites. Ultimately, however, it comes down to finding your earworm of choice amongst the familiar and new twists on a working theme; there are plenty to choose from. Whether it's the party crash Motörhead-flavoured opener 'Innocence & Time' (if Lemmy could sing he’d sound like TNB vocalist Fludid), the groovy stomper 'Count Me In', a balls out '80s-with-a-harmonica rocker 'Cut Loose', or the oddly infectious ballad-esque "screw you" tune 'One Thing I Know' - it's very clear that nothing about “III: Cut Loose” was phoned in or blueprinted from previous efforts.
"The first draft of the album was okay, but there was something missing," Leim admits. "So, we did what we always do; Fabs (guitarist/co-founder Fabian Schwarz) and I went to his basement and went through the songs with a fine-tooth comb. It was basically us producing, and the roles were pretty clear. We have one James Hetfield and one Lars Ulrich in the band; one guy is super-talented and shits out the songs, the other one has less to show technically, but offers the vision and perspective... and probably talks to much (laughs). At times Fabs was writing two songs a day, recording and producing them, and it was useful for me to sit back and say 'That part rules!' or 'No, that's not a chorus.' The album is accessible, it's not the re-inventing of the wheel, but the music still has its own touch. This is the combination of rock and metal, it's right in between the two as far as the mixture goes."
Added to this mixture is producer Jacob Hansen, known for his work with veteran rockers Volbeat and Pretty Maids.”III: Cut Loose” marks the first time in THE NEW BLACKs history they didn't do everything in-house. Hansen was invited to mix and master the album, giving the band a new perspective on their own work and the tunes an additional kick in the butt." We wondered who could make it fat but still make it rock," says Leim of the decision to go with Hansen. "We asked around, and Jacob Hansen's name popped up. It turns out he'd actually had heard of us, and he had some time for us between Christmas 2012 and early January. We sent him some stuff and talked about what we were looking for, so he could do some rough mixes which we liked right off the bat, then we went up to Denmark and finished the mix and master with him. That just elevated the whole thing to a entirely new level."
THE NEW BLACK - III: Cut Loose
Release Date: 2013-March-15th
THE NEW BLACK - II: Better In Black
AFM CD 310-2
AFM CD 310-9
Release Date: 2011-01-21
Media: CD/ Ltd. Digipak
THE NEW BLACK - The New Black
AFM CD 255-9
Release Date: 2009-01-23
Media: Ltd. Digipak