Into the Mouth of Badd(d)ness (Aquarius)
There are doubtless those who would argue that guitarist Dave "Brownsound" Baksh committed career suicide when he quit the multiplatinum-selling Sum 41 last year to focus on Brown Brigade, the metal-minded project he had started with his cousin, bassist Vaughn Lal. After all, any band that includes a note-for-note copy of Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" on its debut album probably doesn't have a hope in hell of nudging the Sums' populist punk-pop off the charts.
On the other hand, it's easy to see how Baksh could grow frustrated with his former band's by-the-numbers approach while longing to craft old-school thrash workouts instead. And–despite the odd, misguided nod to rap-rock ("E2 the F [Homeboy]") or hard funk ("Down With Brown")–that's precisely what Brown Brigade delivers. Tracks such as "Purebread" and "Last Writes (Thusfarvolume1)" are unalloyed, fist-pumping heavy metal, with Baksh trading scorching six-string salvos with since-departed guitarist Craig Pattison. Most of Into the Mouth of Badd(d)ness will resonate with anyone who ever wore out a cassette copy of The Number of the Beast, but those who prefer Does This Look Infected? won't quite get it.