TNA – Branded


Kivel Records
Release Date: January 8, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

TNA. The name alone probably makes you think of, well, “tits and ass.” Therefore, any band with that moniker has to be an ‘80s band, right? Well yeah, if TNA didn’t stand for “The Noise Addiction” instead of, well, “tits and ass.” TNA is actually a New York based hard rock band, who made waves back in the late ‘80s, playing with bands like Skid Row, Winger, Kix, LA Guns, etc. While they were close to landing a big deal, it didn’t happen, and the band broke up before they ever had a chance to show the world what they were made of. Guess what, even though they were never really “here,” they are back, with their debut coming out in 2001 and now Branded in 2004.

The band is made up of Danny Tore on drums, Doug Odell on bass, an extremely competent Sean Tarr slinging the axe, along with vocals by Mike McManamon. Their new release Branded carries all of the elements of that aforementioned genre, but without all the fluff. The is straight ahead rock n’ roll, and the kind of music that is bereft from MTV and radio, but sure as hell shouldn’t be.

Branded opens with various newscaster voices announcing crime, violence, death, etc., and the album was written with this anonymous quote in mind: “We are born into a world where we stare fate in the eye, and the legacy we leave for today’s children is visible in the degeneration of modern society. In the end, we are all BRANDED from birth with the weight of the world and the enduring scars of our history …”

Therefore, “Lies, Guns and Violence” is the perfect way to start the music. One thing you’ll notice is that Tarr has a smooth, effortless way of playing guitar, and when you hear skilled musicians ripping it up like this, every song is a treat. This song offers a rhetorical chorus of “Has the world gone mad, or am I crazy? Is it apathy, or are we lazy?” Probably all of the above …

Lead singer McManamon doesn’t have a high-pitched voice, like many of those ‘80s bands used to, but again, TNA sounds as modern as Nickelback or Puddle of Mud. It’s that kind of rock. McManamon has the ability to show rage, fear, anxiety, or even love in his vocals. On the song “Do You Remember,” he emotes, and this is a very positive song compared to “Lies, Guns and Violence,” showing diversity right from the get go. Every one of their songs make you sing along to it.

As far as radio friendly rock songs, “Rain” is an apropos choice. This again highlights Tarr’s agile guitar playing, and has one of the catchiest choruses on the whole disk. It also changes tempos, especially after guitar solo, and is probably the “best” song on Branded.

There are a slew of good songs on this CD. “The Sound” is another upbeat tune, “Eva’s Song” is a beautiful instrumental, and the last track, “Kill Your Idols” has the most attitude and is one of McManamon’s strongest deliveries.

TNA isn’t “glam metal,” but instead is guitar driven hard rock, full of melodies and smart lyrics. Meaning, it’s the best kind of music there is.

Or, check out TNA’s label Kivel Records to find more great bands like TNA.

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