THE NEW BLACK – “A MONSTER’S LIFE”
Released : February 26th 2016
“This time for real.” Everybody’s using this phrase generously, nobody really means it, but it sounds good. Not for THE NEW BLACK, though. When a band like this is saying “this time for real”, it comes from a bunch of musicians that released three records since 2009, that played Wacken and Rock am Ring and that shared stages with the likes of AC/DC, Black Label Society and Alter Bridge. So what that hell has not been “for real” before?
So this time for real. For these Heavy Rockers it means: Working their asses off with a real producer in a real studio. Harder than ever. “We’ve reached a limit after self-producing our first three albums,” guitarist Christof Leim explains. “At some point you just go in circles, soundwise and with the songwriting.”
THE NEW BLACK however did not ask just any producer for the sake of it. They recorded with Danish icon Jacob Hansen, a proven master of kick ass Rock, the guy Volbeat commited to ever since their first album. Naturally, THE NEW BLACK and a producer like that get along like a house on fire. Working on the album together in THE NEW BLACK’S hometown Würzburg and in the Danish city of Ribe is what rocketed the band onto an entirely new level. “The cooporation was totally worth it,” main songwriter Fabian Schwarz agrees. “They’re still our songs, but they’re better and they sound better, too. At some point, you lose focus, you are too close. Some tracks are two years in the making or have been played live already which makes you focus on your own parts naturally. That’s why even the biggest bands work with producers.” Now, also THE NEW BLACK did, in order to get that important outside perspective.
The results? They jump right at you. “A MONSTER’S LIFE” sounds like an album should sound that starts off with a smasher called “Long Time Coming”: As if the three years since the last record steered the band to this singular point. THE NEW BLACK are still THE NEW BLACK. Only much bigger. The trinity of heaviness, melody and groove has new kings, the songs are built to last and highly explosive, the production is massive on an international level. Hansen neither gave the band a typical Metal edge nor a classic Hard Rock sound, but chose to take the middle way. The nonchalant, too-cool-for-school Heavy Rock kick in the ass is still in full effect. The music has just put on a new black shining leather jacket, if you will – and still works fine with a few cans of beer.
“Ten tracks, no bullshit, no dead weights”, vocalist Fludid sums up the fourth album’s fundament. By now, THE NEW BLACK can offer more than enough unique bravado to fearlessly step into any ring. Said opener “Long Time Coming” is self-confidently sowing the fields of Heavy Rock with enthusiastic uptempo riffing and a boldly anthemic chorus, “Blockbuster Life” convinces with breakneck speed and gang shouts. “With A Grin” is stomping through town like a monster only to erupt into a capital XXL chorus before the atmospheric “Send In The Clowns” throws in some epic hooks. Talking about epic: “That’s Your Poison, Not Mine” delivers a chorus written for stadiums. Seriously. In the loose rocking “Dead In The Water”, THE NEW BLACK even sing about all those who claim that the band won‘t go anywhere anyway – and how much fun the five-piece has regardless.
THE NEW BLACK put all their hearts as well as an incredible amount of time and energy into this record. They went for broke, all in – and now they reap what they sowed. Aside the enviably thick guitar sound and the ballsy drums, Hansen‘s production is predominantly highlighting Fludid’s impressive vocals. “He’s our trump card anyway”, bass player Günt Auschrat and drummer Chris Weiss add with quite some understatement.
This time around, they have more than one trick up their sleeves. Just like the huge lizard on the album cover that can’t wait to trample down Tokyo, “A MONSTER’S LIFE” will gather momentum and will shake our floors – on the record as well as on their tour early 2016. This time for real indeed.