Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me



by Robby Roark (The Sludge) USER (26 Reviews)
December 4th, 2006 | 256 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Long awaited follow-up to Deja Entendu is darker, edgier, and damn right good on this Innerscope record debut.

It's matured. It's grown. It's art. It's finally here. Yes, after many delays and hardly a peep for 3 years, Brand New is back for their third, and most intense album to date. Avenging from the early days of their pop-punk roots, these Long Islanders want to be more than your average pop-punk group. Siting influences from many areas of different genres, Brand New has revolutionized their sound yet once again. But possibly could have waited too long to set forth this new darker sound.

Brand New got their start after a previous band faltered featuring vocalist/guitarist Jesse Lacey, drummer Brian Lane.and bassist Garrett Tierney. They formed a band themselves along with Vincent Accardi and settled with the name Brand New. After two demos, they've signed a deal with Triple Crown records to release their debut full length Your Favorite Weapon. The album was laced with 3 chords and lasting hooks. Since written as a teenager, Jesse openly described the album as "full of teenage angst." There after the band followed up Your Favorite Weapon with a great leap of departure with Deja Entendu, which the title is french for "already heard." The album featured a more polished, deeper in-depth style of song structures, with more than your average teenage angst album. It seems Jesse Lacey just isn't happy with what he's accomplished, being he labeled Deja Entendu as "rushed." Now that Mr. Perfectionist himself has spent the last 3 years compiling all of the band's potential onto 55 minutes of defining material, was the wait worth it?

Well to get it started off, this entire album has a dark tone, hencing the angsty album title "The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me." With such an angsty title, comes similar lyrics. But instead of teenage angst Jesse is writing about, he is now writing about what seems to be a spiritual/inside anxiety. As Jesse deals with his internal demons, he unleashes them into thought provoking poetry. This is notable on quite possibly one of the most beautifully written songs in the last 5 years Jesus Christ. This song is an open prayer about his struggles with the concept of what happens after death. More of with his imperfections on if he would be accepted in the afterlife. The writing is what separates Brand New from other Long Island acts such as Taking Back Sunday and Thursday, and Brand New just only raises the bar on here. Although the smirking irony that was present in Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu is non existent, being it would make it accessible to take Brand New more serious. After all, Jesse was quoted to "rather have the Radiohead kind of success, than the Good Charlotte kind."

Ahh, taking another look at the title of the album, it is known that there is rage to be had. It seems through every aspect, Brand New incorporates a deeper listening experience, through layered instrumentals, the darker lyric tone, and Jesse's new found aggressive vocal styling. The major difference between Jesse on this album, than Deja Entendu and especially Your Favorite Weapon, is the intrusive vocals presented, as in he is unleashing his inner rage, hence the rage into the album title. His newer vocal style isn't too keen on the human ear. In fact, he screams out of tune, but fits the feel of the cd. Although when he sing's at a minimal level, he makes his best representation of a British man. I have always thought that the best songs sung, is the collaboration between both Jesse and Vincent Accardi. Vincent doesn't have a fluent singing voice either, but he makes his presence felt with high octave pitches. On here, he doesn't have to scream to get noticed, it's felt on Milestone, as he provides a nice touch during the entire chorus. He's noticeable during Jesus Christ as well at around the bridge, and screams dually with Jesse on You Won't Know.

Everybody like's layers. Lasagna is a good example, as well as our human skin. But layers of instrumental hooks in an organized matter could sometimes lead to failure. For the most part, this didn't occur. With Brand New, it shows an considerable increase of their musicianship, as the music is more complicated than on the simple minded Deja Entendu. I'm sure it is what the band has been working on, as the simple instrumentals were one of the biggest complaints on Deja Entendu. It works to an extent, as many of the guitars on here are similarly layered. Thick as a Frosty. Many of the softer guitar licks seems to be filler and lacks any real substance. Though during the slower moments gets boring, the intensity just makes up for it. The band is at their best when they play heavy instruments. Bassist Garrett Tierney doesn't make his presence known what so ever. Sure he has his moments here more than the previous two efforts, but overall is dead weight. As well as dealing with the drums, Brian doesn't do anything to stand out, all except for the track The Archer's Bows Are Broken, as he drives the song with a thunderous roll though out. Other than that, simple cymbal crashes and generic pounding.

Sure, this album has it's stand out tracks. Sowing Season at a first listen, can be confused for a song off of Deja Entendu, due to the formula induced on that record with the quiet verse/loud chorus. The indication that this is the brand new Brand New is again, how aggressive it get's and the thick layered instrumentals brought in. You Won't Know is the closest song to pop punk they've used to play, but is arranged unlike typical songs in the pop punk genre. Kind of like a hardcore version of their former selves. Degausser stands as the song that will most likely gather in newer fans and a likely single choice. Showcases the more aggressive side of Jesse Lacey, even though he does have a lesser vague feminine name. One very broad approach to the instrumental Welcome To Bangkok, which is every bit as enjoyable as any other song on this cd. I do believe Jesse used the effect of screaming into his guitar pickups if you listen closely to the heavily distorted vocals. The stand out tracks are excellent, but one particular song is not fitting with the cd. Not The Sun basically is built off a failed hook around the chorus. It's upbeat on a rare level, and on that note doesn't fit with the rest of the tracks. Also the Untitled track isn't a well executed as Welcome To Bangkok.

To state the obvious and then my opinion, Brand New set out to improve on their favored cult album Deja Entendu in many ways, and succeeded in many of them. In other way is that Deja Entendu had a very enjoyable formula, thus I favor it more than I do this. The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me follows a certain theme of internal restlessness and darker tone. Jesse as already voiced his opinion on this, stating it feels "incomplete," mostly due to the demo leak earlier in 2006, which unleashed 9 unpolished tracks. Though few of them stayed and vastly improved, many of them were hidden away and may never see the light of day again. Who knows what this record would sound like if they wern't made public. Most fans of Deja Entendu won't have much problem getting into this, and has the power to drive in new fans. This is a new route for this Long Island quartet and will be interesting which way they turn from here.

The Sludge's Thumb Up's:
Jesus Christ
Sowing Season (Yeah)

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user ratings (4556)
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    Music for people with big, fluffy hearts....

    Rob Marais (5)
    The night's hard to get through....

    kevin234 (5)
    This is hitting rock bottom....

    Garrett H. (3.5)
    A random album never heard before turns into a brand new favorite....

  • Alxander19 (5)
    I saw our sad messiah, he was bored and tired of my laments....

    yidnarc (3)
    This is a great album if you remove the pop punk element...

    Kiet Truong (5)
    Brand New shows everyone that they are here to stay with their best effort yet....

    crandynewman (2)
    it has sparks of potential to be a great album but the flame flickers out before the cd ge...

  • Quadrochosis (5)
    I can never lose it....

    Channing Freeman STAFF (5)
    Settle, baby....

    Ty (5)
    I often think of you. Yet, rare is a night in these times where I let your sound be heard....

    Adam Knott EMERITUS (4.5)
    The devil's stopped winning....

  • Andrew Walker (5)

    Dr Hank Paulson (3.5)
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    Ciaran McManus (5)
    Brand New realise the potential they've been threatening us with for years....

    KTLL (3)
    With the exception of a few songs, you will know a track's progression by its opening chor...

  • Marc Wells (5)
    The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is surprising to say the least. I knew these guys h...

    SowingSeason STAFF (5)
    Breathtaking, magnificent, and compelling. Brand New’s crowning achievement as one of t...

    Christopher (4.5)
    Brand New's Magnum Opus...

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    Do I divide and fall apart?...

    Ian (4.5)
    Brand New pushes the envelope to the best of their ability in order to create a more sophi...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Sludge
December 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I tried to extend my reviewing techniques on here, this took forever.

Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2006


Good review man, cheers for the comparisons between Deja Entendu and this, since I haven't heard anything from this album yet.

December 4th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

f'in great review man.... very well written though you might want to proof read a few more times to get the typos fully out. amazing cd

December 4th 2006


ok album great review

December 4th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

ughhhhThis Message Edited On 09.16.08

The Jungler
December 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm, good review, this album needed one.
This is definetly better than Deja, which I could hardly listen to. Heck, even the cover art on this pwns Deja's.

December 5th 2006


Nice work, Sludgey.

Big Tone
December 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5


sweetastic review 'sludgey'

The Sludge
December 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Aww guyz, you all are making me blush. Thanks for props n' whatnot.

December 26th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

In my opinion the best album ive heard in a long long time, this is my favourite review of the album, strikes a good balance between criticism and being a fanboy.

Great Job!

black guy
January 6th 2007


wow, I completely disagree with what you said about not the sun. I think it's easily the best song on the album, not really built off the chorus at all.

i think jesus christ sounds like a slowed down sic transit gloria without a cool bassline and no chorus.

overall rating i agree with though.

January 7th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

I just bought this c.d. yesturday and it is simply amazing! I cannot even describe how good it is. If any of you are on the line about buying this, just do it! It's SOOO good! Oh, by the way, did anyone else find it humorous that, on the cover, the guy on the right is wearing blue polka-dot slippers? That made me smile.

February 14th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

mmmmmm lasagna

The Sludge
March 9th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I saw a Letterman performance of Jesus Christ, it sounded so awesome.

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

this more I listen to this album, the more I love it.

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

This album never really grew on me, Deja is much better imo

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

well yeah, right now Deja will remain their best work. so high five to that cesar

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

God no, Deja is just decent pop punk. This is a great album.

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

you got a point.

July 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

Deja is more than great pop-punk. Noone is denying that this album is great, but for ME Deja has more feeling behind it, is more inspired, and it is more fun. In my case u could say that I couldn't find the thing that makes this album a 4+ for people, but even so it is still great. Vocals are better in Deja too, not by much thoug.This Message Edited On 07.23.07

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