Review Summary: All around a fascinating and unpredictable listening experience that Brand New present almost flawlessly.
Oh how Jesse Lacey and his band have progressed from the pop-punk roots of Your Favorite Weapon.
From there, they showed that they knew how to put together a hard hitting rock song with Deja Entendu
, and then showed they could take their craft further by putting together a mellow, brilliant album filled with acoustic flourishes in the form of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
. So where does such a diverse band go from there, you may ask? Well in accordance with Brand New's ever-changing style, the answer was obviously to make a a post-rock-grunge-punk-screamo-acoustic album. They'll never see THAT coming.
Every song on Daisy
feels familiar, yet fresh, drawing on Brand New's back catalogue of excellent material, all while adding some things one would never have expected. Take "Vices" for example, the raw, grungy opening track that shows Brand New's best screamo band impression. Looking at their older material, not only would one never expect Brand New to do a screamo song, its even more unfathomable that it is quite simply the best track on the album, and possibly one of the best songs of 2009. Lacey shrieks in a high pitched and powerful way that goes perfectly with the spastic and abrupt guitar work throughout the actual song's two minute duration.
A sudden shift back to their older style is present in "Bed," a peaceful and quiet song boasting the typical guitar riffs and subtle drum work familiar to fans of The Devil and God
. While there isn't a bad track present on Daisy
, lead single "At The Bottom" is a particularly enjoyable track. Backed by twangy and ethereal guitar playing and fronted with an exceptional vocal performance, the song also features one of the catchiest choruses I've yet to hear. From the mid-tempo pace of "At The Bottom," they continue in full throttle with "Gasoline," which is a song quite similar to vices, albeit less aggressive. Lacey still shrieks his heart out, but the best part of this song is the drum work, which is simple, but very effective along with the lyrics and vocals.
"You Stole" is the throwback to The Devil and God
, and it is an acoustic song for the first half, and then morphs into a post-rock chord progression before ending with an impressive, but subdued drum fill. "Be Gone" is sort of the interlude, featuring a distinctly southern/country guitar riff, but the true intrigue comes from the distorted and choppy vocals, which could be seen as either calming or just plain creepy. "Sink" and "Bought a Bride" are the last songs to feature gratuitous screaming from Lacey, and each feature some catchy guitar parts and of course, outstanding vocal delivery.
Something noticeable is that while not terrible, the lyrics leave room to be desired after the sensational lyricism of The Devil and God
. The fact of the matter though, is that the music and delivery are so perfect, the lyrics don't seem to matter as much.
The final trio of songs all lead into one another, and they make for a fascinating 12 minutes or so of music. "Daisy" serves as the calm and atmospheric opener for the three songs, as it mostly provides the listener breathing room for what is coming. "In A Jar" is the final burst of aggression before the listener is treated to the sensational "Noro." Listening to this song, it becomes obvious that Brand New is a band that seems happy with what they've done. As Lacey bellows "I'm on my way out!", one can't help but wonder, is this Brand New saying thank you and goodbye?
After an album like this, I sure as hell hope not.