THE NEW BLACK - II - Better In Black

The New Black - II - Better In Black

12 songs
44:25 minutes
***** **
AFM

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German hard rock band The New Black left a favourable impression with their self-titled debut album two years ago, which was rewarded with a successful support tour for Alter Bridge. Now they are back with their follow-up, confidently titled II – Better In Black.

If I wanted to be mean, I would say that the band is afraid of taking risks and clinging too strongly on the recipes of the predecessor. To be fair, I have to admit that The New Black play a hefty kind of rock with a lot of groove. Especially the harmonic vocal lines and the sometimes mean bass guitar deserve recognition. Some people have tried to compare The New Black to Nickelback, but that only makes some sense on the mid-tempo pieces, and even then the Germans act much harder. If you really need a point of reference, you could pick German rock band Pothead and maybe the Scorpions.

I prefer The New Black whenever they are rocking straightforward, like on Downgrade, My Favourite Disease and Fading Me Out which are my three personal highlights. Their quieter material most of the time works also quite well, as can be heard on the charming When It All Ends. In the end there are only two tracks that didn’t do anything at all for me. Despite its funny title, Happy Zombies has no more class than your typical advertisement background music, and Altar Boys is a Southern rock piece with a surprising harmonica part but eventually feeling out of place on the album.

The New Black can definitely be satisfied with their second album. II – Better In Black may not set new accents, but neither pales in the shadow of its predecessor. It seems that the band did everything right once again, and should therefore not be denied its deserved success.

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