Review Summary: A step forward or two steps back?
Brand New have become somewhat of darlings for music critics. After their pop/punk angst debut album, Your Favorite Weapon, the band did what most artists are afraid to do; they decided to move away from the mainstream instead of towards it. Their sophomore record, Deja Entendu, hit the rock scene by storm showing a side of the band that hardly anyone thought they had after their first album.
The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me is the apex of this transformation process, a musical emotional masterpiece. Songs like ‘Jesus Christ’, ‘Luca’ and ‘Limousine’ show how far Brand New have come lyrically and instrumentally.After the success of their third album, the pressure was on for Brand New to try to once again eclipse their previous record. Daisy was released in 2009, unfortunately due to how good it’s predecessor is, the only way Daisy was going to live up to the hype was if it happened to be the best album ever. It’s not.
Brand New have become known for their lyrics, how they combine deep introspective lyrics with misleading metaphors, their use of sarcasm to get message across and the generally unforgettable verses. Daisy is a much vaguer album, with lyrics dealing with darker topics like loss, death and isolation. The album is a mix of unexpected tempo changes, crunchy distorted guitar riffs and heart wrenching screams. After listening to the whole album the listener will undoubtedly feel exhausted and overwhelmed, but not necessarily satisfied.
‘Vices’ sets the mood for the album, with vicious screams and heavy distorted guitar riffs. It’s a song that grabs the listener by the throat and slowly squeezes the life out of them…but you know in a good way. Unfortunately the momentum from the opening monster is lost with the follow up song, ‘Bed’. A slow ballad that is at best decent and at worst boring. The lyrics are unforgivably weak, and the chorus is painfully bland.
‘At the Bottom’ was the lead single form the album, an atmospheric rock track with a disturbing guitar riff. It has a decent chorus, and the lyrics are good as they deal with the loss of friends…unfortunately the song surprisingly doesn’t have a real climax, as all we get is the chorus repeated a couple of times to close the track. The title track suffers from the same problem; it builds and builds but doesn’t go anywhere.
The best tracks on the album seem to be the heavier tracks. ‘Bought a Bride’, ‘Sink’, ‘In a Jar’ and ‘Gasoline’ all deliver a powerful punch. The former has an interesting distorted guitar intro before a Lacey starts singing over a heavy drum beat. He screams the bridge and then sings cleanly a good chorus. ‘Sink’ is similar in style; the vocals constantly change from clean to screams, even instrumentally the tracks follow the same pattern with a heavy drum beat and lots of distorted riffs. Actually ‘In a Jar’ and ‘Gasoline’ both follow the same formula, but it’s a formula that works well.
‘Noro’ is a monster of a closer, a long track with a brilliant guitar riff and introspective lyrics that deal with guilt and the feeling of hopelessness they create. ‘You Stole’ is another long track, but it doesn’t work quite as well. The chorus is not bad, and Lacey gives a good clean vocal performance, but the song starts to drag in the slower parts and only picks up momentum a bit during the few moments when the song explodes.
Daisy is an interesting album, an experience that will not be quickly forgotten by any listener. It doesn’t work anywhere as good as its predecessors, but it still could prove to be an important evolutionary step in the development of this remarkable band.