Review Summary: ...um
Brand New aren’t a very good live band – they’re messy and off-key and out of breath and it doesn’t suit them. So listening to their albums is uneasy for me because I know how much the sound has been manipulated, and it really has. Some very high-spec s*** has been used to record this stuff considering the amount of overdubs, double tracking, triple tracking and all those effects, and for what? Daisy has been an obsolete album right from its release because it offers absolutely nothing you haven’t heard before. Loud-quiet-loud, guitars with echo, guitars with distortion, curdled screams, whispered lyrics about scornful women and tired religious imagery. Deja Entendu – they’ve said it before themselves.
Why care about anything this band has to say on this album if they’re not even going to make an effort to make it interesting? It sounds like all of the songs were written in one sitting; maybe all of the ideas came from one especially noisy jam, maybe Lacey and Accardi were sat in their rooms knocking these songs out three at a time, thinking they were on a roll or maybe their label was pressing for an album out sharpish and they panicked these songs onto a record. But they did manage to squeeze in some old-fashioned sounding, off-beat recordings here and there to relieve the plainness of it all (the little snippets of prim and proper piano accompanied singing happen to be my two favourite parts of this album, so I guess Brand New kinda ruined it).
None of the songs try to build tension without just becoming louder and messier; I was desperate for one track to do something unexpected, and I listened through the title track Daisy, its introduction making me feel hopeful, willing it to do something different, but it didn’t – it plodded along until making the lazy musical gesture of tossing some more noise and distortion at my ears in a failed attempt to excite them. It was disappointing. It was a struggle to even bother myself with the remaining two tracks because this album had made me feel sad and why the hell do I want that?
As melody goes, all of it lies flat among hackneyed guitar riffs and bang-crash drums. It’s the kind of thing you might force out through writers’ block, yet they have made an attempt at at least one interesting idea in “Be Gone”; short and indecipherable, it’s the only track that made me actually want to pay attention while listening to it. The rest of the album could have really done with some more experimentation, even if it was the pretentious Elbow kind of experimentation. Bang a stick off a radiator and shout over that instead because at least we haven’t heard as much of that.
As individual tracks they’re just your average punk songs, which makes them listenable, but put them together in an album that you have to spend 40 minutes listening through and it gets worse and worse with each passing 3-minute-block. Hopefully they have another album in them, because to finish with Daisy would be to go out with a slow grind, and they’ve shown some definite energy in what they do, so it’s a matter of whether they can renew that somehow.