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In times in which it seems as if heavy music becomes more darker each day, it's good to know that THE BROUGHT LOW are still around. That is the kind of music that cheers me up on a bad day. 'Third Record' is the band's second full-length for Small Stone Records, but of course the third one in their career which started in 1999. Not much has changed actually, and there was definitely no reason for doing this. THE BROUGHT LOW belong to the preservers of the classic rock sound of the 1970's, and it is always a great pleasure for me to hear with what kind of a keen eye for details the band approached their albums. Almost as an afterthought, they manage over and over again to write memorable and powerful tracks.

With 'Third Record', THE BROUGHT LOW have recorded their most mature album, and I don't see a single clunker here. Each of the nine songs was written with love for details. The band transitions effortlessly between the more mellow songs and energetic rockers, and the album offers a good mixture of both. It becomes especially apparent how much 'Third Record' has in common with early Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rolling Stones during their 'Sticky Fingers' era. The good old blues is omnipresent and endlessly comes out of the album, but it also offers enough space for more influences. In particular, the first two songs 'Old Century' and 'Everybody Loves A Whore' remind me a bit of Detroit's Sonic's Rendezvous Band, because it seems as if their high energy rubbed off on THE BROUGHT LOW. But despite all obvious influences, this album bears the distinctive signature of New York's power trio. Particularly the vocals of guitarist Benjamin Howard Smith have become one of the essential and characteristic features of the band.

There is a good bit of variety on here and some notable guest appearances by the likes of Dave Unger and Eric Oblander (Five Horse Johnson). Dave Unger plays organ on 'Slow Your Roll', and 'Blow Out Your Candles' is enriched by Eric Oblander's passionate harmonica playing. What I also like very much about THE BROUGHT LOW is their relaxed and casual style, even if they pick up speed. For me personally 'Third Record' symbolizes a special kind of wisdom according to the maxim: stay cool, because life is hard enough. The album's production, for which Andrew Schneider is responsible, offers consistent Small Stone quality at the highest level. Over-all, here we have the best album by THE BROUGHT LOW so far, and worthwhile for any (classic rock) fan to check out. Recommended.