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2ND NATURE/RAIN (Self-released)

2nd Nature is a Waterbury, Connecticut-based rock band that prefers the pop-orientated rock style of bands such as Night Ranger and Cinderella. These guys understand how to write songs with hit potential while still maintaining their rock edge. They’re very good at the harmonized vocals and catchy choruses that make a song stick in your mind long after you’ve heard it.

This is the band’s second full studio release and once again they show that they’ve mastered the studio recording process. As with their first release, "Will To Survive", this one is as clean and polished as any self-released effort you’ve ever heard. This band is serious about their music and it definitely shows. A major label could sign these guys and have their debut album in the can with minimal effort. Choose the best tracks, a few changes here and there, and you’re ready for a mass distribution release.

"Rain" contains 11 tracks, one of which is an acoustic version of a song from their first album. The standouts are "The Way I Feel", "Tell Me", "Wonder Why", "Miracle", and the nearly 9-minute "Rain-->Jam." The songwriting is highly skilled with most tracks being credited to the entire band. The three-guitar and multiple vocalist approach is excellent and allows the band to alternate parts and place them so that the song is always progressing forward.

I really like this disc and would highly recommend it. The band has a nice clean studio sound and a slightly rougher edge when playing live. In each case they’re both interesting and enjoyable. There does, however, seem to be one miscue that grabs my attention on each of the band’s efforts. This time it’s the first track, "Body Language", which for some reason just seems like it wasn’t quite finished yet. The song itself is good but on that track the vocal recording just isn’t on par with the rest of the disc. That minor criticism aside, if you enjoy the rock/pop territory that 2nd Nature strives for then this disc belongs in your collection. If the band is playing in your neighborhood do yourself a favor and catch the live version as well.