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Brown 

The liner notes for Brown's debut EP proclaim that drummer-frontman Reed Mullin and producer-guitarist John Custer snuck into a Raleigh studio surreptitiously and recorded the entire disc on the fly. They also brag that one track was polished off in 45 minutes and was written while it was being recorded. The problem with "Satellite" is that it sounds like it was recorded in a hurry by two guys not wanting to get busted. That aside, Mullin, the former drummer for Raleigh legend Corrosion of Conformity, seems to have strayed from the sound that he and the members of COC worked so hard to perfect. Not that he should be tied to this band forever, but this disc appears to be a blatant attempt to rise above the underground horizon and get some Top 40 airplay.

On COC's Web site, guitarist Woody Weatherman is quoted as saying, "Apparently [Reed] has decided to separate himself from Mike, Pepper and myself and pursue a different musical direction. I wish him good luck on that." Doesn't sound like a truly amicable split, and Mullin's declaration that "Custer and I had been waiting two and a half years for the next COC album and were getting bored as fuck," adds further fuel to that speculation.

So the slagging has begun, but, unfortunately, Brown doesn't break any new ground or even maintain the edge that Mullin spent nearly 20 years to help establish. Instead, it sounds exactly like a Creed cover band's "originals." Here's a sample lyric from the disc's closing track, "Poor Boys": "Rich boys wonder what poor boys think about/I don't think too much/I guess I'm lucky that way." Perhaps some thinking should go into the next Brown record.

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