Review Summary: Experience life again or for the first time in a enjoyable and certain fun ride with Brand New's "Your Favourite Weapon."
Usually, when I am listening to a new release from any band, I am looking for what they did to improve. There is always a question of whether the band has matured, digressed, or simply stayed the same. I have always thought that maturity is best thing for an album or band, but not this album. Since this is a debut album, it was merely a building block for maturity. When I look at Brand New
’s release Your Favourite Weapon,
I am glad there is not much maturity because it has not had the chance to grow yet. While Brand New may take it as in insult about the maturity factor, I find it as a plus. While there are deep messages conveyed, the message is never laced with unclear wording that can lead to confusion on what is the meaning of the song. This album ultimately makes me want to stay at the age I am at forever. The songs are about women, relationships, friendships, and more importantly life. Screw amazing and mind-blowing riffs. Throw drum solos out the window. Your Favourite Album
is fun and I can appreciate that.
Pop punk was never a genre I sought out as far as purchasing music. Through out my years as an avid CD purchaser, I bought albums from every genre and stayed away from pop punk. It was possibly because the devil known as MTV made me stay away from the genre. I felt they were doing a poor job of letting people know about all of the music that is produced and simply focusing on what would be popular. There is nothing wrong with that, but there comes a point of when people want that popular band to be “underground.” When I listen to Brand New and this release that is what I want. It is almost like a comfort zone of knowing they are living life just as you are, or at least a close representation.
While the vocal production is not the best throughout the album, it adds a hint of rawness. A clear example is the opening track “The Shower Scene” which has a gritty sound vocally and a sharp sound musically with a dark mood throughout. In addition, the lyrics are not enhanced with thousands of effects or a perfect sound. It is what it is. Obviously, the rave of this album is the lyrics and it should be. From references of their influences, Morrissey and the Smiths, to the girl down the street. I cannot put enough stress upon how this album is about the life. It is also about someone who has graduate high school and moving on with their own life. However, at the same time it is about enjoying and living life at a standstill forever.
The song “Mix Tape” provides a irony to itself since mix tapes are intended to impress a guy or girl and yet it is about everything wrong with that individual and ends on the final note stating, yeah, but I wish you were my shadow
. The guitar work is more involved than just power chords, as far as the intro is concerned. It transitions into a slow song overall with some interesting guitar work, nothing fancy until it ends with a noise outro. “Failure By Design” quickly follows with an infectious guitar riff in one of the catchiest songs on the album (well…they all are catchy…but this and “Jude Law And A Semester Abroad” are easily the catchiest). It has a fun sing-a-long bridge towards to end of humming ‘do-do-do,’ and so on until it transitions back into the chorus.
A standout track musically and vocally is “Seventy Times 7.” This song is about a broken friendship between Jessey Lacey of Brand New and John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday and there are some harsh words said.
Have another drink and drive yourself home.
I hope there's ice on all the roads.
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,
and again when your head goes through the windshield.
What I found interesting is the response to this song with the track “There’s No “I” in Team” by Taking Back Sunday. They took the lyrics from the “Seventy Times 7” and have the backup singer, sing over John’s perspective of the friendship. However, the instruments do a fine job of supporting this song. It begins with a driving lead guitar until the verse begins and it does not slow down until the emotional bridge. The bridge starts with simple bass-work and some piano until it leads to the lyrics posted above.
Finally, the song of what may be a teenage anthem for fans of Brand New, “Soco Amaretto Lime.” This song was the decisive factor for me and made me believe that Brand New had much to offer in the future. It is true, there is a hint of cheesiness involved but it works. The lyrics present a vivid realization of having an amazing time.
assed out on the overpass
Sunday best and broken glass
Broken down from the bikes and bars
Suspended like spirits over speeding cars
You and me were kings over the parkway tonight
And tonight will go on forever while we
walk around this town like we own the streets
and stay awake through summer like we own the heat
Singing "everybody wake up (wake up) it's time to get down"
(everybody, everybody wake up its time to get down)
And when I pass the bottle back to Pete
on the overpass tonight, I bet we laugh
Problems with album are that it may become repetitive for some and others may take it as generic pop punk. In addition, some tracks are simply not as effective as others are such as “Logan to Government Center” and “Secondary.” Otherwise, nothing is that terrible to call out because it is a well-rounded pop punk album filled with different emotions.
Are the lyrics meaningful? Well they certainly are not meaningless. Is this the perfect album? No, it is not. Is it a great album? Depends who you are talking to. Nevertheless, this album is not meant to define your life forever. I think of it as making sure people live life now but also experience difficulties in life. As I turn nineteen today, it means nothing, it is just another number and one year older. However, in reality, I’m going to stay 18 forever.