Review Summary: Brand New have completely evolved from the heartbroken adolescents that brought you Your Favourite Weapon, obliterating that memory with each distorted riff and every coarse scream found within Daisy.
With each new album, we have come to accept the unpredictable nature of Brand New. The drastic change in maturity between Your Favourite Weapon
is nothing short of remarkable. After all, frontman Jesse Lacey once wrote about his disgruntled relationship with a once-loyal friend; now he reflects on grandiose topics such as the meaning of life. The latest edition takes fans to the limit with perhaps their most uncharacteristic album yet. Sure, Brand New have had their head-banging, mosh pit inducing moments before, but on an album titled Daisy
? Don’t get me wrong, the Brand New charm is still here, despite the fact that Daisy
is collectively heavier than their past three albums combined, and borders on the line of the unrecognizable (in terms of ‘is this really
begins with the feverish “Vices,” a bastard of post hardcore & grunge. This track exemplifies the balance of aggressive songwriting and accessibility found on the rest of the album. Daisy
thrives on its ability to find a hook in dense, furious contexts. For example, “Sink” pummels listeners with inaudible screams and furious riffage, but it’s still fu
cking catchy. Similary, “At The Bottom” features Jesse Lacey’s twangy voice leading the verse to a fitting complimentary balls-out chorus, belting ‘Well I carry this box to its proper place/ And when I lower it down/ I let you fade away/ I know that you would do this for me.’
As inferred from the text cited above, the biggest problem with Daisy
is the lyrics. Certain lyrics teeter on the edge of vomit-inducing. Guitarist Vincent Accardi has been credited with most of the vocal/songwriting duties, and to be perfectly honest, they are a letdown from previous attempts (and if Lacey did write that song, shame on him). There is no longer a balance of topical, yet creative lines like, ‘Jesus Christ I’m alone again/ what did you do those three days you were dead?/ cause this problem’s gonna last more than the weekend,’ but a more upfront approach. Essentially, Daisy
covers nearly every major topic from The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
, but with less substance and character. Granted, Brand New have come to a point where we may be expecting an unreasonable amount of creativity.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails proved you don’t need to be overly technical to differentiate yourself from thousands of other bands. Brand New follows this example. Somber tracks like “Bed,” “Daisy,” and the six-minute gem “You Stole” balance the aggressive moments, adding variety and alleviating any possible question of whether or not Brand New are possessed. “You Stole” in particuar slowly simmers; Lacey’s vocals are at his best until the bridge gloriously ignites the track with squealing guitars overpowering an already thunderous breakdown. But, unlike The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
lacks the slow build-up of tracks like “Welcome To Bangkok” and “Luca.” Instead, listeners encounter a barrage of explosive riffs, like those in “Gasoline,” which do partial justice, but are hardly as epic. The beautiful thing is that Brand New don’t need something dynamically explosive to make a statement. Take Daisy
’s bass-heavy closer, “Noro,” which maintains a sinister undertone, building upon each tediously picked guitar note. As the song churns, it opens into a perfectly balanced chorus, screaming ‘I’m on my way to hell/(well, I've tried/God knows that I've tried).’ It sounds so numb and apathetic, and any other real feeling would taint the magic created in “Noro.”
flourishes with diversity, yet remains a complete, effervescent album. Ever since their rise to fame, it seemed like Brand New had something to prove, but more importantly, someone to run away from. Their obvious displeasure with Your Favourite Weapon
has been demolished with each distorted riff and every coarse scream in Daisy
. This time around, Brand New find themselves squabbling for marquee moments and end up settling for a consistent product. Daisy
accomplishes the feat of identifying the band people have come to know; a confused band steadily pushing their musical limits.