Album: The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
Release Date: November 20 [UK] November 21 [US]
There are very few words that can describe Brand New’s “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me”: Weird, Breathtaking, and Brilliant. While the cynics are always out to get this band saying they named themselves “Brand New”, while they are the definition of generic, and how long is it going to take for them to make a new album? This is an album though that takes 3 years to make, 3 years of songwriting, 3 years of practice, and what it ends up being is three years of perfection. The album itself draws a fair comparison to the mediocre “Where You Want To Be”, from Taking Back Sunday were Taking Back Sunday experienced band lineup changes, and Brand New did as well. Were Taking Back Sunday’s lead singer was about to go crazy, Brand New's went crazy as well. And both bands were trying to re-do there sounds to please there critics. While Taking Back Sunday holds there emotions in with average 3 minute repetitive pop-punk sound [on the verge of pop], Brand New sort of creates an experimental pop-punk feeling by their standards leaning towards more of a rock sound with many songs over 4 minutes and many necessary beat changes. The emotion is always there and Jessie’s songwriting has improved a great amount since his teenage years with TBS [yes it is true] and the early Brand New [“Your Favorite Weapon”]
One of the biggest changes is that Brand New isn’t forcing anything on this album, they are forcing the sound, they aren’t forcing beat changes [the soft/loud songs on Deja Entendu] and they aren’t forcing lyrics [the pitiful rhyme schemes on DE], and the lyrics aren’t all about relationships. Jessie goes much deeper with his lyrics on songs such as “Sowing Season [Yeah]” and “Jesus Christ”. While the opening line practically introduces Sowing Season, “He’s losing all my friends/ He’s losing them to drinking and to driving” and Jesus Christ is a song that you can tell is a song with an emotional meaning beyond us. While “Sowing Season” has a soft-loud formula, it’s different than the one section of surrounding lines and a burst of chorus on DE it’s a sort of calmness and then an emotional, let the beat come to you burst, and it is so filled with emotion and new to the band that it is a perfect start to the album. While most of Brand News other breakdown’s are soft and with quick forced rhyme schemes, this acoustic/electric song has Jessie screaming [I am not your friend/ I’m not your family” with screams and the beat leads perfectly into the chorus of “Yeah”. The song starts out acoustic and in the chorus is electric, and some parts of the breakdown are left with what sounds like no instruments. “Jesus Christ”, is an unbelievable song from a band that once put out the song “Magazines” on an album. The song is acoustic and takes us on a journey of what seems like an emotional quest from Jessie’s point of view, there is no real structure to this song it is just beautiful bits of poetry being repeated going into a great breakdown where the band sings [“We all got wooden nails/Tongue Tied Hating Factory”] it’s not like other BN songs were you would say the chorus is definitely my favorite part, in this song it could be anything from the groovy interruption that stops the starting lines, from a memorable line, all of this song is great.
“Is it even now?”
Why I didn’t go flat out and say this album was rock is because it still shows that Brand New has some of there pop-punk still in them, with songs such as “Not The Sun” and “Archers”. “Archers” is quick, and is probably the only song on the album that I would consider close to repetitive on this album as the chorus kind of stretches out towards the end. The songs sound is an electric, hard and quick all of the time song and the breakdown with the chorus in the background have to be one of the most perfect parts of the song and that’s what made this song really take a liking on my part. The best pop-punk song on the album however is the often beat changing but quick 3 minute “Not The Sun”, it starts out with a fast chorus like beat with Jessie throwing some decent lines in and the song really explodes as Jessie starts screaming “Would You Be My Bait?” and though he repeats this over and over again you can tell that it leading into something and that when the beat settles down into a sort of soft drum and soft guitar with Jessie singing “Settle Baby You Are Not The Sun” this part just proves how great this album is on the breakdown and the chorus is repeated again after a short guitar solo. The pop-punk songs on this album [when they are used] show a great improvement from previous Brand New albums.
"Settle baby you are not the sun”
This will probably be my favorite songs to cover on the album the songs I would consider epic these songs are: “Luca”, “Limousine”, and “Degausser”. “Luca”, was what I would consider a mediocre song on “Fight Off Your Demons”, but the lyric change has made and the great breakdown and beat change towards the end has made this song a classic. I always loved the chorus but what was surrounding it on the previous album was really bad, this time the surrounding lyrics are haunting instead of beautiful and that’s what it really should be I think. The song is an all-acoustic song, strung out nicely with a little beat change and background vocals in the chorus. The breakdown is great and is were this song goes to epic Jessie starts to whisper nicely with some nice acoustic guitar and this is going on for about a minute and suddenly burst and again they pose the question in the chorus of “Where have you been?” “Limousine”, is a song that is hard to describe in words, it’s a song with constant beat changes, tone changes, and seems like it is broken up into parts.
1. The begging of the song is a haunting exchange of lyrics that seem like they are describing a girl. This is sang to a acoustic beat which sort of take a background in this part both of the singers are singing at the same time which adds to it’s haunting echo effect. The chorus then comes in with some screaming to a harder beat [but again the soft and loud is not forced].
2. The next surrounding line just has Jessie singing and it leads perfectly into the breakdown, these lines are less haunting and sang to a higher acoustic beat.
3. As “Never Again” is repeated and repeated time after time in the background Jessie comes in singing some of the best songwriting of the album “I Love You So Much/ But Do Me A Favor Don’t Reply/ Because I can dish it out but I can’t take it” Then the other singer joins along and the beat bursts open once again and this is what makes it one of the best moments of the album. The song ends with a fast paced guitar solo.
“Degausser”, originally titled “Take Apart Your Head” is the second single on the album after “Sowing Season” the song is great compared to the original version. It’s an all-electric song and is hard throughout and features another great breakdown [which basically every song on the album has]. The song features a very catchy chorus and the surrounding lines are the second best on the album besides “Limousine” and the “Take Apart Your Head” is repeated in the background so well and multiple things go on at once which make it brilliance. The chorus is fast paced and the lines are great, probably the best on the chorus with the memorable line “I’ll never get Anything Right”. The songs breakdown is actually repeated three times throughout the song just with extra lines added and it seems to get better especially when Jessie sings “I am still the king”, that line reflects that lyrical simplicity has been thrown out the window on this album.
“One loves you so much,
But do me a favor baby don’t reply,
Because I can dish it out,
But I can’t take it”.
There are even some instrumental songs on this album, “Welcome To Bangkok”, sounds like something Coheed and Cambria would put at the begging of their albums. The song starts out with a robotic voice much like Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier” except this one is in the background, and somehow that is thrown into becoming an acoustic beat that eventually goes into about a two-minute jam session. “Untitled”, was speculated to be a song from the “Fight Off Your Demons” demos but instead it is just a couple minutes of what sounds like children screaming to broken speakers in a background the beat is mainly acoustic.
“Handcuffs”, is a nice closer to the album, the beat is always acoustic and sang softly throughout and though it lacks structure like “Jesus Christ” it works out perfectly because of the lyrics sang by Jessie, though these were written by another band mate. The song is what “Luca” originally was “Beautiful”. That’s the only way I can describe it, and it is a perfect closer to the album since it shows the bands lyrical maturity and great instrumental awareness that has been present throughout the album.
Overall, this is my only five-star album of 2006 so far it has everything in it: songs that show obvious improvement, songs that have there pop-punk influences, epic songs, instrumentals, and a beautiful closer in “Handcuffs”. This album has showed so much improvement in this band and I would suggest buying this one even if you are not a fan of their previous work.
1. Sowing Season [Yeah] 5/5
2. Millstone 4.3/5
3. Jesus Christ 5/5
4. Degausser 5/5
5. Limousine 5/5
6. You Won’t Know 4.5/5
7. Welcome To Bangkok 4/5
8. Not The Sun 5/5
9. Luca 5/5
10. Untitled 3/5
11. Archers 4/5
12. Handcuffs 4.7/5