Review Summary: Imperfection is beauty
The guys of Brand New have always struck me as an intriguing bunch. Extremely popular for how unique their style is. It always seems to me that bands I think should be well known fall by the wayside where cookie cutter boring bands somehow have insane amounts of fans. In my opinion Brand New has found a nice niche, a sort of best-of-both-worlds following. They aren't on the radio all the time like some bands are but they are certainly known. Their fame not only resonates in the hearts of fans but the professional world has taken note as well. Their newest work, "Daisy" has received many accolades from critics including a spot on half a dozen top album of 2009 lists.
But what of the album itself? To a first time listener I admit this record may come off as suffering from severe Attention Deficit Disorder. The band is talented, I'll give them that, but after four full length records you would think they would have figured out what kind of band they want to be. Daisy has some songs that are slow and methodic and others that sound like a very pissed off manic schizophrenic must have written them. There is even one song that sounds as if it was recorded underwater with a really old tape recorder. Many artists switch between aggressive and slow on a record, even within a single song, but Daisy does so suddenly and often seemingly without reason. While many of the band's artistic choices seem questionable, the album certainly does groove and is easily one of the fastest forty minutes I've ever experienced (Admittedly a good portion of that was spent trying to figure out what the hell was going on.)
Daisy really does have a good balance on it, for every moment of head scratching wonder, there were times of absolute grooving wherein the music drew me in heart and soul. The later of which reminded me very much of the better parts on 2006's "The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me." Upon a second and third listen I realized that this is a band of such honesty and creative talent that the moments that first appeared to be illogical are the quintet just rocking out. I reckon these bits spawned out of jam sessions were the guys were just swallowed up in the moment.
Another interesting thing I noticed about the record is that while at times the vocals are brazenly aggressive, there is very little screaming. Like Manchester Orchestra, Brand New much prefers the subtle art of yelling (yes there is a difference.) This seems to add more of an under produced, raw, human element to the album. The little moments of chaos all resonate an essence of a band being a band, not a perfect musical machine, but a collaboration of people and opinions and flaws that would, to say the least, have no place on a producer's resume. Marilyn Monroe once said: "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than boring." I expect she would have loved this album.
Bed, Gasoline, You Stole