Released nearly 2 years ago, Brand New showed us just how much they could mature and grow with their sound between their first 2 major releases, from the pop-punk "Your Favorite Weapon" to the eclectic "Deja Entendu". Right from the start, with the intro "Tautou", the change in Brand New's sound and lyrical content is evident. Lead singer/song-writer Jesse Lacey's opening lyrics, "I'm sinking like a stone in the sea. I'm burning like a bridge for your body," only begins to scratch the surface of the deep, dark, introspective lines that grace the record from start to finish. The next track, "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades", features a chorus that explodes from your speakers, and also has a nice little bouncy bass line in the verse. "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" slows down the record mid-way, beginning a beautiful, melancholy track with acoustic guitars in the beginning that adds a layer of electrics near the chorus. The lyrics seem to be dealing with a feeling of regret that most can relate to, "And if it makes you less sad, we'll start talking again. And you can tell me how vile I already know that I am." "Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis" contrasts in it's bluffing deceitfulness, with Lacey proclaiming, "I will lie awake, lie for fun and fake the way I hold you, let you fall for every empty word I say," over silent, slithery palm-muted chords that eventually rupture into the full-out electric chords that Brand New does so well. The last song on the record, "Play Crack The Sky", is a track with just Jesse and his acoustic guitar, featuring lyrics dripping in metaphoric sorrow that conclude dispiritingly, "I know that this is what you want. A funeral keeps both of us apart. You know that you are not alone. Need you like water in my lungs. This is the end." In the end, this record is just what those in a state of dejectedness need to fill their ears. Brand New bring the emotion and nostalgia of past heartache in this lyrical gem.
Are these guys going to get a followup sometime soon? I sense they would be picking up on the new indie trend because they were already leaning toward it in 2003, and they'll probably have ditched the pop-punk altogether by the next album. At least I hope so.
The review was pretty short and doesn't tell me much, but nice effort.