Review Summary: To put it simply, Brand New manage to create something unique and like-able with Daisy, but one can’t seriously hold this up against Deja Entendu or TDAGARIM can they?
It’s hard not to have a strong opinion on Brand New’s brand new release, Daisy. The colossal wave of hype surrounding this album wasn’t replicated by any other band this year. Jesse Lacey and the rest had their destiny decided for them. Because of the expectations, Daisy was going to be a massive hit or a disappointment. Please excuse me for thinking that it doesn’t live up to either of these labels. Daisy, first and foremost, is what Brand New does best- progression. From the pop-punk of Your Favourite Weapon, to the emo-tinged Deja Entendu, to the masterpiece The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Brand New have managed to adapt and improve their sound while still remaining appealing and interesting. To put it simply, Brand New manage to create something unique and like-able with Daisy, but one can’t seriously hold this up against Deja Entendu or TDAGARIM can they?
The biggest single change in this album from Brand New’s previous is the apparent flaunting of their influences. On first listen, Daisy is dark, especially for an album named “DAISY,” for Christ’s sake. Comparisons have been made to The Jesus Lizard and their album, Goat; and rightly so. The aggression is apparent, namely in album highlights “Gasoline” or “In A Jar.” It’s hard to believe the raw and abrasive songs are a product of the same band that created “Mix Tape” or “Magazines” years and years ago. Other resemblances can also be found; it sounds like 90‘s giants Modest Mouse and Nirvana must have been on high rotation on Jesse Lacey’s Ipod during the recording of Daisy.
The songwriting duties on Daisy were handed over to lead guitarist Vincent Accard from Jesse Lacey, and it shows. It’s hard to lament over the writing, as Accard produces a few gems in “You Stole,” “Daisy,” and “Noro,” but it’s just as hard to miss the same Brand New that wrote “Jesus Christ.” Many of the songs center around the motifs of beds (“Bed,” obviously, which is a bit of a bore), and fire (“Gasoline,” “Daisy”).
Daisy isn’t stale or monotonous by any means. Brand New lives up to their reputation by creating a complex, exciting record full of variety. The best example of this can be found in the opener, “Vices.” Don’t be turned off by the drones of an old woman singing or the first minute, because this changes pretty drastically. The biggest surprise with “Vices” isn’t that Jesse tries his hand at skramz, but that it works so well when Jesse screams “Just say goodbye to the ground.” From Vices all the way to epic 6 and a half minute closer, Noro, Daisy provides a lot of material to love. Fans who have loved Brand New from the beginning may complain of “duds” on Daisy, namely “Sink,” “Be Gone,” or “In A Jar,” but almost every song yields more than just a good effort. More importantly, I felt that Daisy flows extremely well from song to song, something Brand New have struggled with a bit in the past.
Obviously, there is change and maturation from their last record to Daisy, but change for the sake of change is worthless, right? Well, certainly that case can be made, but that’s simply not the case with Daisy. To put it bluntly, Brand New’s latest simply can’t stand against The Devil And God... in terms of sheer inventiveness, catchiness, and downright amazing-ness. With that out of the way, Daisy is a solid record with much to offer by itself. The new raw, abrasive sound Brand New has embraced is intriguing. There’s a lot to be said about Daisy, and many people are going to have strong opinions on the new sound that Brand New incorporates. More importantly than the “new sound” actually succeeding or failing, I found that Daisy, as an album, works very well. All I can do is hope now that the closer “Noro,” doesn’t come true when Jesse tells us “I’m on my way out,” because Brand New have a bright future ahead of them if Daisy is any indication.
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