Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


3.5
great

Review

by Green Baron USER (108 Reviews)
April 13th, 2014 | 36 replies | 1,108 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: LaGuardia to North Hempstead.

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

The Long Island Sound: A Reflection on Suburban New York's Musical History - Part 1

“Goddamn it.”

I stare out the window of Interstate 495, more commonly known around these parts as the Long Island Expressway. Exit 41S is my destination, yet I’m stuck ten miles back in the middle of a swarm of cars going ten miles per hour.

“I knew I have should have taken the Northern State.”

As I make my way towards Levittown, I reach into the glove compartment and pull out a CD. It’s not just any CD though. It’s one that will get me loads of thumbs-ups and fistbumps as I cruise down Jerusalem Avenue. It’s one that will bring back memories of their hometown heroes, perhaps the greatest representation of Long Island musically. The chessmen and the chess clock are so iconic to thousands of people who have followed them from the very beginning. Back in 2001, Your Favorite Weapon ruled the headphones of thousands of angst-filled teenagers living in New York’s suburbia, some who even personally knew the band members. Brand New hailed from the town of Levittown, a village located within the Nassau County known for its postwar rise to popularity and racial exclusivity.

Although Your Favorite Weapon is generally known as Brand New’s worst effort thanks to its simplicity, basic songwriting and immaturity, you wouldn’t know given the acclaim it receives back in their hometown. Never go to Long Island and tell fans of the band that their 2001 debut pales in comparison to the rest of their material. You’ll come home wearing various shades of black, blue, purple and red. The commonly accepted opinion is that the lackluster Devil and God and Daisy are to blame for the band’s descent of mediocrity. How dare the band that made the pop-punk classic “Seventy Times 7” dare tarnish their legacy with shit like whatever the hell “Be Gone” is supposed to be? It makes a little bit of sense though – Your Favorite Weapon came out when many of these now-30 year olds were in high school, going through the same cycle of broken hearts and hurt emotions that Brand New so perfectly displayed thirteen years ago when they first came out.

“It’s time for you to choose the bullet or the chapstick – it’s me in his room.”

The traffic refuses to let up. After five minutes, I’ve finally reached the next exit – number 34. By this time, “The Shower Scene” and “Jude Law” had already passed me by without any attention. Brand New have always had a knack for writing powerful openers, and Your Favorite Weapon is no different. Clocking in at a little over two minutes, “The Shower Scene” breezes by fast, but not without leaving its mark. The track’s frantic drumming is some of the best on the album, displaying Brian Lane’s true talents. If anything, what lets the album down the most is the lack of variation – although Brand New can play pop-punk really well, Your Favorite Weapon really could have benefited from something different than standard fare.

”Forget everything you think you know about me. This isn’t high school.”

As soon as I pass the Shelter Rock Road junction, the traffic finally disappears. Cruising through the Island at 65 miles per hour has never felt so great before. The sky is painted a clear blue, and nothing is stopping me from reaching my destination. Exits shoot right past me like high-speed bullet trains. Searingtown Road. Willis Avenue. Northern State Parkway. “Last Chance to Lose Your Keys” blasts at full volume, and I suddenly remember the sheer emotion behind the song. Lacey’s performance is so beautifully tragic on Your Favorite Weapon’s strong middle section – the despondence and melancholia in his vocals so perfectly express his agony and heartache that I can help but shed a tear when he declares, “If I can choose, it’s only you” on “The No Seatbelt Song”. His voice carries so much emotion that it’s hard not to feel moved by it. Vin Accardi also lays down his fair share of excellent riffs – his performances on “Seventy Times 7” and “Mixtape” show a sense of maturity for a young band just getting started.

Suddenly, cars flood what was a near-empty highway three minutes ago. A fatal car crash blocks off two of the expressway’s three lanes. I get a glimpse of the blue 2009 Lexus as I drift by it at fifteen miles per hour. A young woman in her mid-20s has been decapitated, her head breaking through the glass windshield and landing in a field a hundred kilometers away. In the driver seat, her seatbelt remains unscathed, untouched, left off to the side. As the traffic worsens, I find myself stuck in this car, with the album’s weakest stretch playing. Tracks like “Secondary” and “Magazine” aren’t horrible, but they easily rank amongst Your Favorite Weapon’s least desirable tracks because its generic sound leads to a rather uninspired performance from the band.

“I’m gonna stay eighteen forever so we can stay like this forever.”

That’s not what describes “Soco Amaretto Lime”, which is perhaps Brand New’s most awe-inspiring closer ever. The track’s stripped-down arrangement emits a reflective aura with lyrical content about realizing how youth is quickly fleeting. Even if the band’s first effort may seem immature compared to the dark, brooding The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, keep in mind that Your Favorite Weapon is the sound of a group of young, inexperienced teenagers whose greatest demons were getting their heart stomped on by the local neighborhood whore. “Soco Amaretto Lime” shows signs of musical progression, featuring an acoustic guitar and melodic vocal harmonies. Capturing the spirit of adolescence in a slow ballad is hard to do, but Brand New make it work.

After forty-one minutes of hellish traffic, the exit is finally in my sight. The wheels turn as the record suddenly ends with a record skip. Green lights shine down South Broadway, and as I cruise down one of Hicksville’s major thoroughfares, I can’t help but think about Your Favorite Weapon more. Despite being reliant on the heavy use of power chords and simple pop-punk song structures, Brand New were able to make the best of a genre that could easily get generic and stale. Although they may fall victims to its banality, it’s amazing to see how much the Levittown four progressed from here. At times clichéd, recycled and naïve, but never insincere or unemotional, Your Favorite Weapon was the first catharsis of Jesse Lacey’s own imperfections and shortcomings, ones that soon evolved into darker and more grueling things.

The road splits in two. I stay on the left and turn left onto Hempstead Turnpike. Next stop? Amityville.

PART II: ”This is me with the words on the tip of my tongue..



Recent reviews by this author
Royal Blood Royal BloodCaleb Johnson Testify
The Dirty Heads Sound of ChangeThe Gaslight Anthem Get Hurt
Beware of Darkness OrthodoxAdelitas Way Stuck
user ratings (1862)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Starting up a long series before I leave off

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Gyromania
April 12th 2014



15460 Comments


good review, but that thing isn't an alarm clock

Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what's it supposed to be then? is it a time bomb?

Rowan5215
April 12th 2014



25003 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

inb4 Squaids
Good review though pos'd

Digging: Shihad - FVEY

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It's a chess clock.

Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ahh that makes sense

risingabove
April 12th 2014



75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

chess clock bro

TheSilverman
April 12th 2014



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and here i thought Long Island was full of rich snobby folks

Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol not all of it

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2014



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I guess my tiff with the review is you say there's not a lot of variety or w/e. Mix Tape, No Seatbelt Song and Soco all differ from the 'power chord' formula you describe, as does Seventy Times Seven's bridge. That's a quarter of the album at least. Compared to something like TAYF it's ~experimental~

Also is the decapitation image supposed to ironically oppose "I hope you think of me when you forget your seatbelt/and again when your head goes through the windshield"? Cause I think it's kinda in bad taste

Gyromania
April 12th 2014



15460 Comments


lol sorry, i should have specified it was a chess clock, i just assumed it was a typo.

anyone else here play chess? i'm hoping to go to a big fide tournament sometime this year to vie for a cm title

Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do remember you were a chess player because you wrote a review that referenced some young chessmaster or something like that

Green Baron
April 12th 2014



19090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also is the decapitation image supposed to ironically oppose "I hope you think of me when you forget your seatbelt/and again when your head goes through the windshield"? Cause I think it's kinda in bad taste


cracked the code

SeaAnemone
April 13th 2014



19920 Comments


probably best BN album tbh

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

SeaAnemone
April 13th 2014



19920 Comments


also, this album is like so not Long Island-y

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Wouldn't have expected you to like this the most


Propose
April 13th 2014



808 Comments


Well he likes true detective so he is used to liking boring things

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

^Worst New User

Futures
April 13th 2014



9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed

Digging: Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights

SeaAnemone
April 13th 2014



19920 Comments


only album that's really lasted, for me, besides a few tracks offa Deja

I respect Daisy the most

TDAG--I get why people like it so much, I guess it's their most stylistically ambitious, but I feel that they kinda stretched themselves a little thin by going down that path, they're just not a skilled enough band to pull off TDAG well imo
I never listen to it anymore because when I stopped listening to it, like 2-3 years ago, it just sounded too melodramatic and overblown, a band that should've just stuck to what fit them better ... that's one reason why Daisy was such a pleasant surprise; kinda combined their want for shifting to a more serious sound while ditching the 7min tracks for a simpler, more aggressive approach

this is their forte--simple, catchy, amazing hooks... it perfectly defines a time, both where they were as a band and that time in general in terms of the scene or whatever and what other bands were doing, as well as that time for me... so it's the only one that hasn't lost its luster

tbh none of BN's stuff interests me enough anymore to make me want to sit down and say "hey I'm gonna listen to a Brand New album!" but I still jam singular tracks from this all the time in playlists or whatever - that's what I've decided they're best for



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy