Review Summary: Well if your interested in the "Jesse Lacey" show you'll probably find yourself right at home. For long time fans and even fans of ONLY "Deja Entendu", becareful because you may find yourself banging your head against the wall bored. A dust collecter is Brand New
is during the The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me:
Jesse Lacey - guitars/vocals
Brian Lane - drums
Vin Accardi - guitars
Garrett Tierney - bass
Produced By: M. Sapone and Brand New
Recorded By: C. Mittendorfer
Released: November 21, 2006
Label as produced: Interscope Records
So I grew up in Long Island one town over from these guys and its easy to say I pay a local homage. I represent Long Island pretty hard, and basically love a lot of the things that happens here. I’m talking about the music scene and also just the place itself. I can still remember it like yesterday how my freshmen year of high school revolved around three bands. Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New.
These bands were everything to me and most of these bands were just breaking out of there shell. Thursday was out with there second album “Full Collapse”, Taking Back Sunday was busting out with “Tell All Your Friends”, and Brand New had “Your Favorite Weapon”. Despite some may say, my musical tastes have changed drastically from that year, but all 3 of these albums are stored in my heart in a safe place. Now that was almost 4-5 years ago and all of these bands have gone through there changes. Taking Back Sunday of course being the most infamous with it’s lineup changes and mainstream publicity. Thursday steering the reigns still in the music they make but “A City By The Light Divided” goes at a much more mature tone then “Full Collapse” did. Now it’s Brand News turn with it’s first album in 3 years.
Fight Off Your Demons
Now let me first before I start on this album say that I am a long time lover of “Your Favorite Weapon”, it was an instant click for me. “Deja Entendu” wasn’t at first at instant hit but I eventually liked it more than “Your Favorite Weapon” with its more mature sound. This album is probably as highly anticipated as any other new release this year (if not more) and it’s been 3 years since there last release with only a demo called “Fight Off Your Demons” in between. Let me be that this album came at a shocking halt to what my ears wanted to believe. The sound once again will be evident but not subtly note the listener on a dramatic change. You begin to believe that maybe only the first two songs would have been slowed but the entire pace of the album seems lethargic
. There is no “Jude Law & Semester Abroad”, “Failure By Design”, or even a sensing hint of “Good To Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have To Do Is Die”. A lot of the pop-punk edge that this band had on its debut album faded to Deja Entendu, and now seems totally non existent. I listened to the album enough times to write this review and as many times as I wanted to find something new and inviting, I found myself simply unimpressed and bored.
You Won’t Know
The album starts off very clean and melodic in almost a monotone setting with “Sowing Season”. The song in about a minute in bursts the seems open and grows loud with Jesses voice being backed by a raging electric guitar. You can sense the growth in his voice from what once was pretty nasal in “Your Favorite Weapon”, sounds like a man now instead of a teenager. “Millstone” is an ear opener right after “Sowing Season” going on the same roots of introduction as “Sowing Season” and growing with tempo and harmony. The vocals in this song are what I really envisioned what the new album would be all about, but I was disappointed. The construction of this song is well built with a catchy chorus and a lot of hooks. Even with the monotone setting in the introduction and verses it feels like the song never leaves the listener out to dry, scratching his head. In this song also I found myself being first introduced with the maturity of the music backing behind the valorous front man of the band. The guitar is right there on par in the right step forward from “Deja Entendu” and the bass fills a nice void in the music. “Jesus” was a song that totally killed my ambitiousness towards a song like “Millstone”. It takes everything down to a coarse, choppy, pace. I feel like I’m in Church when I’m listening to this song because yeah the lyrics are there but the music just really has no emphasize or “oomph”. The song shows no real structure and it just lacks in any punch to even be considered a classy acoustic song. The interlude of the song has a nice vocal breakdown which was probably the highest peak of the song which seemed almost screamed. “But we all got wood and nails, your tortured and hanging factory”. By the time “Degausser” comes onto track 4 I’m cupping my face realizing that every song so far has started off at such a monotone and slow pace it’s JUST irritating.
To be quite honest, I feel like on the exception of “Millstone” I’m sitting at church and listening to the band play above me.
At least this song is showing some life of the band with a faster paced chorus and group vocals. To just hear anything different then very similar barely audible monotone vocal introductions and soft acoustic guitar would have been pleasing to the ear.
once again low audible Jesse Lacey over an acoustic on “limousine”. At this point it’s the 5th track and this album seems to be more than anything the “Jesse Lacey album” more than anything. This song definitely isn’t like the others though and actually turned out to be really liked by me. It takes a nice approach with the soft;loud contrast (much better then the other songs). The lyrics at times barely audible do tell a good story and read that Brand New trademark. Yes, we all know Jesse Lacey is a greatng writer but up until a few songs it really felt like he was totally lost. The song “You won’t know” reassures everyone that probably all of these songs are going to start off slow, melancholy, and monotone. As this song speeds up though once again it seems more than listener able then ever and that’s probably mostly because the listener isn’t being put to sleep/making them tear there hair out. It’s a nice change from the “I’m as bored as you guys” voice
to actually show some range and emphasize.
I can’t even put myself to words because I was on the verge of tears when I heard “Not The Sun”. The song starts off with bass and then grows into a full band effort instead of the “Jesse Lacey Album”. The guitar uses some pretty sexual effects over clean electric (reverb and delay). I think Cannsaw hit the nail on the head so I’m going to quote him. “I mean most punk bands do their fast paced stuff and a slow song as a bonus, but Brand New seem to be the other way round and it can get quite tedious with all this slow, quiet acoustic stuff around, but when Brand New do belt out a heavy punk song, it can usually be worth the wait.” This song is a fresh breathe of air that almost seems non-existent most of the album where it’s fairly slow on a lot of standards but FAST for this album. I mean I feel like I can at least sway back and fourth to this song instead of sit in the corner in the fetal position rocking back and fourth.
I mean on paper the band has shown it’s growth but I think that this is a prime example of how a band maturing doesn’t always equal good music. This album was tedious to get through, and wasn’t really an easy listen on any means.
I’m fairly diverse in my field of music and don’t really show any bias to any genres but this had a lot more Indie/Alt tendencies then Pop-punk. Keep this in mind if you’re going out to get this album because there is no “Jude Law”. The instrumentals seem delicate and well crafted but at the same time painstakingly boring. The vocals do show growth but also seem to be a hermit crab staying and hiding in one place. The lyrics are as tongue in cheek as you'd expect, but the sardonic attitude towards relationships is replaced with a vague yet persistent irritation with organized Christianity, which isn't as charming or as convincing as his (charaded) superiority complex expressed in songs like “Okay I Believe You” from Deja Entendu. If you didn’t even like “Deja Entendu” but loved “Your Favorite Weapon” then definitely be careful by this. The band just seems flat, and lacks “pop”. I’m not talking about “pop” like Ashlee Simpson or Britney Spears, but any song just lacks any inspired effort or emphasize outside its lyrical box. There are albums that put me to sleep that I love and just because they are soothing such as Jack Johnson or John Mayer. This album isn’t as boring as it is soothing. There are some good songs on this album but nothing that stands out on the level other infamous Brand New songs has. The lyrics as they are tongue in cheek don’t seem as clever as they are forced. Overall this album was a huge disappointment for me on a level of a Brand New fan as it seems like Jesse Lacey took the band over totally. Not for the better either… I do know that there are people who will appreciate what this band has to offer this time around but I know more than enough that this obviously isn’t the same band they used to be and in my eyes, it’s a step backwards.
- Lack of any type of “Oomph”
- Really drags on a lagging pace
- Some of the songs should have been demos and stayed that way.
- For almost every song to start off so slow… why
- There are other bands that execute music in this spectrum that aren't half as boring.
I'm listening to Deja Entendu right now.