October 21, 2019 Violent New Breed – Bad Reputation (Album Review)
Just what kind of trouble has former Escape The Fate member Max Green gotten himself into now? Well, let’s just say that he has formed a Violent New Breed and they have a seriously Bad Reputation. SBG Records delivers the mayhem to your ears on Friday, October 25th, 2019.
As a Founding Member of Nevada bad boys Escape The Fate, Green released three full-length albums with the band—2006’s Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, 2008’s This War Is Ours, and 2010’s Escape The Fate—before making his exit in 2012. Certainly never a musician who chooses to sit idle, he would go on to front The Natural Born Killers, perform in Ronnie Radke’s Falling In Reverse, and even return to Escape The Fate for a stint.
By 2015, Green was settling in to start his latest project, Violent New Breed. A year later, the band would hit the road for their first tour and deliver their very first EP. However, radio silence seemed to follow these initial first steps until Green returned in 2018 with studio news and a whole new lineup. Now, Las Vegas’ Violent New Breed—Vocalist/Guitarist Sean Russell, Guitarist Shawn McGhee, Bassist/Backing Vocalist Green, and Drummer Charlie Nicholson—are primed and ready to deliver their debut full-length disc and proudly place their name onto the musical map.
Produced by Guitarist McGhee, the 12-song Bad Reputation doesn’t waste an ounce of time in submerging bad memories with the gritty freneticism of “Bury Me,” which features the always stellar Howard Jones of Light the Torch (formerly of Killswitch Engage). This paves the way for the radio-ready single “Worth It,” a rocker that fits perfectly alongside “Crazy,” where a choking pressure mounts into a darker vibe.
The beautiful disaster of the pulsating rhythms of “Heaven Sent” mixes it up a bit and allows the band to delve into the power ballad-esque “Waste,” a track that is fraught with heartfelt confessions. In fact, much of Bad Reputation lays it all on the line, seeking to triumph over the past and embrace a happier future. Apropos of this is “Goodbye,” where Green and his cohorts give yesterday the middle finger, pick up the pieces, and hope for a brighter next step.
In keeping with this theme of personal disclosure, the plea of “Save Me” delves into mental health issues, including addiction and the need to overcome the emotional pain that leaves us feeling hollow. It’s a highlight on the collection, a powerful track for 2019. Meanwhile, another gritty rocker, “Believe,” is the mirror to its predecessor: a proud proclamation of believing in oneself despite the fumbles made in pursuit of happiness.
Next they dip into a pair of stand-out rockers, “Through It All” and “Before I Fall.” The first sees Russell and Green’s melodies soar as they lyrically offer bitter confessions, while the latter allows Green’s sludgy bass to anchor some seriously haunting atmospherics undulating atop a raging rocker. This segues into “On and On,” a chance to break the cycle, a struggle that is depicted with Russell’s pained howls. Ultimately, they end with a sweeping, cinematic feel, sonically speaking, on the grand finale, “Pretend,” the lament of a sinner.
With Bad Reputation, Violent New Breed establish themselves as a solid Rock-n-Roll band who revel in their gritty edges along with their ability to craft straightforward, confessional lyrics; almost daring you to judge him, Green lays it all on the line in his sentiments throughout. And if you’re ready to simply dismiss his new compadres as just another Escape The Fate ripoff, well, don’t: Violent New Breed leans more towards Adam Gontier-era Three Days Grace than Green’s resume starter.
A solid debut with several highlights, Bad Reputation ushers Violent New Breed into the over-saturated Hard Rock marketplace. Now their task will be distinguishing themselves from the herd by taking more chances, exploring more vibrant extremes, and asserting their dominance. For this, Cryptic Rock give Bad Reputation 3.5 of 5 stars.
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