Three Reasons At Most

The Art of Commitment says a lot about what 15 Reasons value; hard-work, solid tunes, longevity and craft. Simple, gnarled riffs from the heavy metal end of the grunge spectrum are modelled throughout and I'll be straight, I have a soft spot for this sort of pick-up truck rock. I own more than one Godsmack album after all. The only off-putting thing is that this Midwest, vest wearing sound is being churned out by four gents from Brussels and there's not a lot of individuality on show.

Asking for individuality in this kind of everyman hard rock is perhaps a little unrealistic. The tunes are solid and feature actual basslines from time-to-time, an indication that this isn't modern metal. Nicholas Brynin's finger-pointing vocals settle in somewhere between Layne Staley's cracked melancholia and Sully Erna's wiseguy street bawling so no surprises there. But there are plenty of stomping riffs, bluesy solos, stop-start arrangements and earnest bellowing. N.B.M.A is a good tester for whether you can stand this kind of 'roid rock as there's a streak of Creed/Disturbed style haughtiness which can leave a bad taste. Humans are Pollution is surely a computer generated song title for a metal band and is as generic as the title suggests. They get thoughtful and anthemic on Around Me which is like the post-grunge version of the power ballad but for the most part it's familiar, gruff hard rock played with no little skill.

This kind of music isn't particularly artful nor does it aim to be but it does satisfy a certain urge. 15 Reasons seem to acknowledge that with the title of their third record so there can be no accusations of pretension and sometimes that exactly what you want. Like a greasy burger from a fast food establishment it acts fast and tastes good but ultimately it pales in comparison to a proper meal.