SowingSeason
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Last Active 07-16-19 6:47 pm
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07.04.19 All Brand New Songs Ranked: Sowing's Re 07.01.19 User Appreciation
06.22.19 Manchester Orchestra Ranked06.11.19 Sowing's 2019.5
05.30.19 Top 10 MGMT Songs05.29.19 Psych Me Out
05.27.19 Top 20 Anberlin Songs 05.20.19 Sowing's Top 10 Bands
05.05.19 Best Songs of the Year 04.28.19 Big Week
04.25.19 Cleansed my 5's04.17.19 Sowing Sr.
03.30.19 30K Comments03.18.19 Congratulations Dewinged
03.15.19 Sputnik Championship03.14.19 Sputnik Madness: Final 4
03.12.19 Sputnik Madness: Elite 803.10.19 Sputnik Madness: Sweet 16
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All Brand New Songs Ranked: Sowing's Retrospective

It's the moment you've all been waiting for. Designed to coincide with my 11th anniversary on this site, I'm indulging a little and ranking every single song, with descriptions, by my favorite band of all time. I'm using the list feature instead of the blog to keep myself from getting too verbose (thank you character limit!), however it forces me to use album art placeholders in order to keep the list intact. What this means is that you get to play along and guess where I will place each individual track...although I'll warn you, this ranking is fluid - so the order of said placeholder album art is subject to change (although once a song has been added with its description, it is indeed final). I've half-assed this exact same list in the past by skipping descriptions, but after so many years on this site, it's time to go all out (or whole-ass it). As the site's self-proclaimed biggest fanboy, here is your unquestionable, indisputable, definitive Brand New ranking -- a list for the ages.
71Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Logan to Government Center": Although Brand New has a storied discography with no "poor" records per se, their debut still ranks as their least mature (both musically and literally) effort to date -- and a quick glance at this list reveals that much right off the bat. YFW is a good, if unspectacular, pop-punk record from the height of the genre's movement - and thus it is filled with plenty of basic drumming and similar chord progressions. "Logan to Government Center" is not immune to such a lackluster formula, but what it does lack is a memorable hook. For my money, no matter how many times I listen to this album, I can never recall a single noteworthy thing about this track. Other songs by this band might feature an annoying hook, but at least there's something to recall even if unpleasant. This song isn't poor - BN has never crafted an abjectly bad track - it's just as vanilla as they come, even while exercising the most basic of formulas. Score: 2.5/5
70Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Secondary": The edge that "Secondary" gains over its predecessor on this list is that it is actually sort of catchy. The chorus "stop these looks and letters / this isn't for the better" isn't the kind of line that's going to have you screaming along with your windows down on a summer joyride, but it provides a hint of lukewarm nostalgia in the moment - while listening - even if it's quick to fade once you move on to just about any other Brand New song with more to offer. It's for all intents and purposes an average pop-punk song, but it falls well below standards for this band. Score: 2.7/5
69Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Magazines": Sensing a trend? There's a reason this list is so back-loaded with Your Favorite Weapon tracks, for reasons I've already expounded on. The album does have its higher tier tracks - and even a few gems - but this isn't one of them. It's essentially on-par with "Secondary" and "Logan" as the three most vision-lacking/least memorable songs of the album. The lyrics are about masturbation; it's essentially as juvenile as they come. It has a pretty cool stutter-step guitar rhythm that interrupts the rest of the predictable chords, which gives it ever so slight of a bump. Score: 2.7/5
68Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Untitled": There's a lot of love, in some circles, for what amounts to a two minute intermission during The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. I've never understood claims of its unfurling beauty - but I'll give it credit for a couple things. First off, it manages to be serenely calming and eerie at the same time - a difficult combination of tones to set. Also, it does nothing wrong. There's nothing about this song that detracts from the larger work - the band's magnum opus and by all measures a modern day classic. So, we have sort of a "mood track" here. It's alright I guess but would TDAG lose anything without its presence? I'm going to say "not really". Score: 2.8/5
67Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Failure By Design": Now we're getting into the middle-tier of YFW songs. "Failure By Design" is absolutely a catchy pop-punk song: the intro features a memorable melody accompanied by an elementary (yet fun) chord progression. The pre-chorus (we don't believe in filler baby) and chorus (this is a lesson in procrastination / I kill myself because I'm so frustrated) are a little cringe worthy but memorable nevertheless. The song also changes its melody during a bridge which occurs about two-thirds of the way through the song; it's nothing spectacular but it's a sign of incremental growth. Score: 3/5
66Brand New
Daisy


"Be Gone": Ah yes, Daisy's most hated track. I kind of get why; it's barely even a song. Jesse's vocals are distorted into oblivion so that you can't understand anything he's saying, and there's a country twang to the guitar plucks that doesn't sit well with everyone. I think the song is undervalued, though. It's an enigma in and of itself, sure, but it also defines the broader air of Daisy - this wiry, unpredictable experience that refuses to do anything the normal way. If you research the creation of this song, you'll find that Lacey actually sang his lines into a guitar instead of the microphone. The lyrics, which have been deciphered by some sites, are spine-tingling - and involve voices calling up to Lacey from hell, beckoning him to join them. It's weird, creepy stuff. Just like Daisy the album. Score: 3.2/5
65Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Sudden Death in Carolina": Still in the middle-tier of YFW tracks, this is another example of infectious pop-punk doing exactly what it's designed to, and nothing more. The verses are punchy and the chorus is the kind you might remember the words to at a concert (call 911, I'm already dead / but someone should be caught and held responsible for this bloody mess). For that reason alone it carries the nostalgia factor for some fans. There's little worth writing about instrumentally, but this is Brand New doing a great job of tapping into their tune sense. Score: 3.2/5
64Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"Fork and Knife": If you like soothing, meandering vocals over a delicate piano line, then this is the song for you. It's pretty in its own right, but it lacks direction. The song ends the same way it begins, plodding along to a pitter-pat drum sequence and Lacey's ruminations. The best part of the song is easily the lyrics, which save it from mediocrity: “The closest thing we had to royalty / A chance to break our parents' pattern”, “We are dry and blown like dust since we were young / What we invented, I am now ending”, “I'm leaving you to nurture cherished wounds / And care for it just like your lover.” Score: 3.3/5
63Brand New
Daisy


"Bed": I have a bittersweet relationship with this song that mostly involves me finding it irritatingly catchy. The squealing acoustic guitars add a bit of a somber tone, and Lacey's moody vocal hooks are smooth as I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter, but goddamn are the lyrics and overall progression of the track suspect. Lacey repeats the phrase "laid her on the bed" seven consecutive times in the pre-chorus. Moreover, the lyrics seem like the try-hard scribblings of a first year philosophy student, and they mostly make no sense: "My head is lead I don't ever want to go to bed / Your hair is on fire", "Your sister groans, a usurper to the holy throne / To me she is just a dead spy". Maybe I'm not of an elevated enough mindset to interpret this song correctly - or maybe, and more likely - it's just gibberish. Score: 3.3/5
62Brand New
Daisy


"Bought a Bride": There's Daisy aficionados who swear by the merits of this track, but I don't see it. Lyrically, it's got some diamonds: "If everyone's a structure where their own savior sits / I'm a little red house, but no one's living in it", "If somehow I was new and everything was unsaid / I'd go and buy a hammer, never sing again". It also culminates in a gritty electric guitar solo/breakdown. All of this is enough to elevate it above the other nine songs on the list, but "Bought a Bride" might be the least dynamic BN track I've ever heard. Nothing about the song feels like it belongs together. The ambient guitars of the intro, the melody of the verses, and raw screams - they all seem like parts of various songs that the band mashed together. Individually they're all good ideas, but collectively they sound like a bit of a mess. There's no evidence of melodic cohesion or any attempt to fuse these differing elements into something that sounds like a song. Score: 3.4/5
61Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Jaws Theme Swimming": This song has two amazing things going for it: (1) the acoustic/drum/bass interplay, which locks into a very unique rhythm, and (2) the instrumental breakdown in the song's latter half. Normally that combination would yield an excellent song, but the problem here is that there's an absence of any memorable vocal hook/chorus to capitalize on the momentum of the rest of the band. The sudden and bland eruption into, "And we learn as we age / We've learned nothing / And my body still aches" feels like toast without jam, it's just kind of there and does nothing to sweeten the pot. As a result, JTS is a pleasant listen in the moment but fails to make an impact beyond that. Score: 3.4/5
60Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Last Chance to Lose Your Keys": In the never-ending struggle between artistic merit and ear-candy, this song falls in the latter spectrum. The reason it presides over other tracks that are objectively/instrumentally superior is because it's so damn catchy that it doesn't matter. It's one of the most upbeat, carefree summer pop-punk jams I've heard, featuring infectious verses, an even catchier chorus, and memorable (albeit juvenile) lyrics. Lines like "It's girls like you that make me think I'm better off home on a Saturday night" have the potential to be relatable, and the gear shift into the repeated "this isn't high school" adds a bitterly condescending edge. Instrumentally it's still very basic as per the YFW formula, but this is starting to creep into the upper echelon of that album's songs - not quite a hit, but a fan favorite. Score: 3.5/5
59Brand New
3 Demos, Reworked


"I Am a Nightmare": Brand New has never really been a band for standalone singles, so this is kind of an oddball. They released this between Daisy and Science Fiction, and it feels like a more mature take on the stylistic leanings of Your Favorite Weapon. It's got an upbeat mood and a catchy chorus, and the production all around far exceeds anything from YFW. The guitar tone and progression is also pretty damn good for a pop-punk track; with all that said I'm extremely relieved that they didn't take Science Fiction in this direction. At the time Lacey was talking about "not wanting to make sad songs anymore", but let's face it, that's when he's at his best. This is an enjoyable and updated take on pop-punk, but it's a style Brand New outgrew and would have been making a mistake to rehash. Score: 3.5/5
58Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"The Shower Scene": Purely from an aesthetic standpoint, the YFW opener is the best of both worlds. It combines the grinding tempo that you'd expect from a true punk track - replete with canned vocals, a gritty breakdown, and a memorable melody in the chorus. It's not as sugary as some other tracks from the record, and it never quite aspires to the emotional aggression of Seventy Times 7, but it's a very solid middle ground. Every time I spin YFW, this sets the experience off on the right foot. Score: 3.5/5
57Brand New/Safety In Numbers
Split


"Moshi Moshi": You'd be surprised how many hardcore Brand New fans don't know about this split EP with Safety In Numbers. It's from the band's early days, so it sounds very YFW-ish, but the two songs that Brand New contributed to the EP are both in the upper tier of their pop-punk capabilities. "Moshi Moshi" is - for lack of a better term - a cute little romantic song. It's short and to the point with an infectious melody and sweet lyrics that make you want to go "d'aww": "Well, you're wasting your time if you're trying to impress me / I waste all my time just thinking of you." This probably gets an extra fraction of a bump for being something of a rarity. Score: 3.6/5
56Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Flying at Tree Level": Another seldom-known track outside of diehard circles, this Deja b-side could have easily fit in on the album. It exhibits the more mature pop-punk of that record, and the "please keep the reporters at bay" feels like everything the band has represented over the years - shying away from the spotlight and interviews. The song peaks at the crowd-chanted "I see my baby / She's starry eyed". It's not on par with the best of Deja, and it doesn't have the most memorable melody, but it's a very good song. Score: 3.7/5
55Brand New
3 Demos, Reworked


"simplemanmix1": OK, now we're really getting into the nitty gritty unknown. This song was leaked by a fan (also someone with inside access to the band...possibly Mike Sapone) on New Year's Eve 2018, as a farewell to the band. The song is supposedly from the pre-TDAG era, although it sounds far more recent. As a diehard I'd place it in the Daisy era because of it's twangy, almost country-ish vibe - but I can't go against what the leaker stated. Anyway -- this song feels like a proper farewell. It touches on seclusion and rejection ("Quietly going crazy / Bored, tired and lazy and blue") and a desire to make things right ("If I had a second chance I'd go back and mend all the things that I could have..."). The emotion in Jesse's voice is palpable, and sometimes makes me wonder if this is an old leak or actually something he wrote during the band's post-allegation shunning. Either way, it's a moving ballad. Score: 3.7/5
54Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Tautou": This barely-a-song will surely stir some controversy ranking this high, but it's the best intro/interlude type of song that the band has ever written. Each slow, deliberate drum beat hits you squarely in the gut, and almost sounds like a stone being dropped into a pond. There's an echoed, almost rippling atmosphere to the entire experience that is downright transformative. Lacey's chants of "sinking like a stone in the sea / burning like a bridge for your body" are simple but effective, and haunting amid the distant, distorted electric guitars in the background. This song's only real flaw is that it doesn't go on longer. Score: 3.8/5
53Brand New/Safety In Numbers
Split


"Am I Wrong": One of the band's most forlorn, dejected ballads. It's the ideal sad breakup song - slow, meandering pace, convincingly depressed vocals, verses memorable enough to be a chorus, and an actual chorus that feels cathartic ("goodbye, lay the blame on luck")...the list goes on. If it weren't for the fact that Soco Amaretto Lime exists, this easily could have been an emotional homerun of a closer for Your Favorite Weapon. This falls right into the "hidden gem" category. Score: 3.8/5
52Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"Good Man": For such a brief acoustic track that, upon initial inspection, sounds like little more than an interlude, ‘Good Man’ is brimming with astute observations about relationships and life. The gently strummed ballad spans two lives – Lacey’s, and the object of his affection, presumably his first love. He sets fire to two pieces of paper – one with his name written, and the other with hers – and laments that hers “burned out the whole spectrum, as if you were everything” and that his “just burned gold, a normal flame”, ultimately concluding “I am not anything.” He goes on to recount their time growing up together, from her summer relationships to his one night stands. It’s sung mournfully; regrettably. It’s clear he still thinks about her and wishes to recapture that feeling, as he sagely informs listeners, “something dies when you grow older, but you do the best you can.” It's a tale as old as time - boy meets girl, they fall in love, and then they grow apart. Score: 3.8/5
51Brand New
Science Fiction


"Could Never Be Heaven": It speaks to Science Fiction's consistency that its lowest rated songs are coming in at #51 and #50, respectively. "Could Never Be Heaven" is an excellent song, let's make that clear first. With Paul Simon-esque vocals, a candle-lit atmosphere, and religious metaphors that rival that of mewithoutYou's, this is certainly not a snub. The song's primary detractor (because it's not even really a flaw) is that it is so gentle and unprovoking. A more harsh critic would demonize it as "tepid", but it's meant to be a thoughtful crooner, and nothing more. Perhaps if the track had a little more going instrumentally (strings, synths, pianos...something other than a gently picked acoustic guitar) it would do more for me, but as it stands it's just another excellent ballad in BN's discography. Score: 3.8/5
50Brand New
Science Fiction


"No Control": Possibly the least adventurous melody in BN's canon, this track lazily chugs along in something of a Nirvana homage. The lyrics are focused on self-damnation, which makes it a bit more interesting than it probably should be, but what really saves the song is its launch into a full-on punk rock instrumental and creepily laughed, insane sounding outro. Without this song's second half, it would drop several ranks. But as it stands, it's just off-the-wall enough to consistently hold my interest and keep me coming back. Despite its relative simplicity, it somehow feels integral to the mood and overall composition of Science Fiction, whereas "Could Never Be Heaven" does not. Score: 3.8/5
49Brand New
3 Demos, Reworked


"Mene": The other of BN's two standalone singles that dropped between Daisy and SF, "Mene" is quite the wild ride. It feels like the most enjoyable possible blend of YFW and Daisy - there's a twangy, almost old-western guitar lick, and the whole thing is filled with frantic and shouted allusions to the end times ("I kept hearing trumpets, got my hearing checked"). The chorus is a little repetitive, and the song is short enough that they could have added onto it to take it in more directions, but otherwise it's an excellent rock song with some surprisingly intriguing lyrical themes. This track tends to get overlooked because it's not attached to an LP. Score: 3.9/5
48Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Good to Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have to Do is Die": This was one of the first signs the band exhibited that proved they could ascend from the messy genre of pop-punk to alt-rock mastery. First off, the song is 7 minutes long. Secondly, it shifts gears from your typical Deja atmosphere of tongue-in-cheek self-deprecating punk to something more elaborate and moody. The echoed, wailing pre-chorus of "Our friends speak out in our defense...We burn the gallows they erect, and cut the nooses they tie for our necks" is downright intoxicating, and the densely atmospheric instrumental breakdowns that surface mid-song and during the extended outro are head-turn worthy. This isn't them reaching their peak (they'd obviously do that on TDAG), but "Good to Know" was an important stepping stone along the way, and one that is often overlooked as it's buried towards the back of Deja's tracklisting. Score: 3.9/5
47Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"Brother's Song": A heartbreaking account of war and the impact that it can have on a family. It feels a bit like a sibling track to "Good Man" in the context of the album, again resorting to stripped down acoustics and Jesse’s vocal/lyrical prowess. The anti-war vibes are obvious when he sings lines such as “just a few mothers' sons will never be enough / not 'til half of our names are etched out in the wall, and the other half ruined from the things we saw.” What gives the song such a personal touch, though, are the allusions to the narrator’s brother – who becomes a relatable character. “The girl that my brother likes is finally talking to him, and his chest is all swelled like he's proud and happy / Like he's got a great idea, like he's making a memory” Jesse proclaims, before threatening, “I'll be dead before you put a gun in my brother's hands.” The track's upside is limited by its simplicity, but it's certainly capable of moving listeners. Score: 4/5
46Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Sic Transit Gloria... Glory Fades": Deja Entendu stans will undoubtedly have a stroke about this, but this very popular single is actually a mid-tier Deja song. Of course, that still places it squarely in the 4/5 scoring range because of how good the album is. The beat/rhythm that the track bounces in on is supremely addicting, and the soft verse to loud chorus formula works very well here. The lyrics about a male protagonist being rushed into a sexual relationship when he really wants love ("She's breathing quiet and smooth / He's gasping for air", "She's moving way too fast and all he wanted was to hold her", "He whispers that he loves her / But she's probably only looking for s--") is certainly a unique perspective. At this point in the list, we're reaching the meat of Brand New's discography - all the songs that fans know and love. Score: 4/5
45Brand New
Science Fiction


"Waste": One of Science Fiction's most immediate songs. It sounds like a dimly lit, more mature Deja song and it's all about the demise of the band - so you can imagine that it scored huge points in BN fan circles. I'm also a big fan of the melody and lyrics, but from an instrumental/creative perspective the song falls a bit flat. It's the album's ear candy, not it's best artistic moment. With that said, this belongs in the same company as Sic Transit Gloria - a spectacular would-be single (if Sci Fi had any singles). Play this for anyone who hasn't heard the band before and watch them fall in love. Score: 4/5
44Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Jude Law And A Semester Abroad": TELL ALL THE ENGLISH BOYS YOU MEET that this is one of Brand New's most anthemic pop-punk tracks. It embodies everything about young love, summer feels, breakups, and the whole nine yards. Of course with someone like Lacey at the helm, you can expect things to always take more of a bitter twist - "if you ever said you miss me then don't say you never lied" - or, even moreso - "even if her plane crashes tonight she'll find some way to disappoint me / by not burning in the wreckage or drowning at the bottom of the sea." Damn, that's harsh. But when we're in the midst of heartbreak, it often feels good to lash out, which is why "Jude Law" became such an identifiable hit amongst its at the time teenage fanbase. It also helps that the chorus is one of the catchiest and most memorable moments of their entire career. Still, it's a YFW track, so temper your technical expectations. Score: 4/5
43Brand New
Deja Entendu


"The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot": One of Lacey's most quotable songs. "You are the smell before rain / You are the blood in my veins" is an all-time fan favorite, and set to lush, pristine acoustic strumming, it sounds like the kind of song you'd want to listen to sitting on a deck somewhere, watching the sun rise. It's all very touchy-feely, but then again it's Brand New. This is simply one of the band's most serene songs - a muscle relaxer and a mind easer. In retrospect, regarding the band's sudden evolution following Deja, the line "call me a safe bet / I'm betting I'm not" feels like a knowing nod and wink. Score: 4/5
42Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Mix Tape": This is one of the band's most sarcastic songs, and it's part of the ongoing beef between Lacey and Taking Back Sunday's John Nolan. The lyrics are the primary appeal here, as Lacey sings "I know that you're a sucker for anything acoustic" and then proceeds to take the acoustic introduction and turn it into one of the most electric and distorted songs on YFW (by the time the track ends, anyway). It's full of cheap shots, some clever some obvious. It became one of the early emo scene's marquee break up songs for its thinly veiled anger, and years later it has become a huge nostalgia trip for most fans. Compared to the chugging, samey riffs that plague the vast majority of YFW, "Mix Tape" is diverse and elaborately composed. Score: 4/5
41Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Welcome to Bangkok": OK, whatever I said about "Tautou" being the best instrumental/interlude type of track the band has written, I formally take back. "Welcome to Bangkok" is an incredibly overlooked piece, serving as the bridge between TDAG's first and second halves. The "space cadet, pull out" line gives way to eerie synth/UFO noises, and then to more deliberate and ominous guitar strums. By the time the track reaches its long-awaited crescendo, listeners will find themselves buried in an absolutely filthy breakdown, complete with wailing electric guitars, maniacal drumming, mind-scrambling feedback, and banshee-like screams. It's the kind of song that BN should end every single live set with; just smash every instrument, drop the mic, and walk away. This is raw and epic aggression. Score: 4.1/5
40Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Guernica": This is one of those songs that when you refer to it by title, a lot of fans shrug and say "oh, one of those late-album Deja tracks" and sort of collectively dismiss it as "pretty good". However, for what the song lacks in household name-ability, it makes up for in energy and euphoria - which is ironic considering that most of the lyrics deal with feelings of lethargy and defeat ("is this the way a toy feels when its batteries run dry?). The verses and choruses are a little disjointed, but when it launches into its high octane signature chorus, there's no denying a full-throttle, high-speed sing along is in order. Within the final minute of the song, Lacey launches into an extended screaming passage - which unbeknownst to listeners at the time was a taste of things to come. This is a track that you shouldn't play on the highway if you don't want to get pulled over for speeding; it's like soundtracking a bank heist's getaway vehicle. Score: 4.1/5
39Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"1996": This remastered demo showcases Lacey at his most Morrissey-esque, alternating between thick, syrupy verses and an all-too-memorable chorus ("and so three cheers for my morose and grieving pals”). The main hook exists as twangy guitar plucks that introduce the track and resurface periodically. The most interesting line is one of self-damnation: “If there's any justice in heaven then God won't let me in / He'll lock the gates and take my weekend pass away...I am cursed to walk the earth for millennia, I know I deserve worse but it terrifies me and I can't take it anymore.” "1996" offers such a fluid and melodic progression that you’d never suspect the lyrics would condemn the narrator to such a fate, but that’s the charm of the demos – we get to witness a band that had accessed the lyrical magnitude of TDAG, but was still working its way out of the pop-punk/punk-rock arena of Deja. "1996" represents that sweet spot. Score: 4.1/5
38Brand New
Science Fiction


"Desert": This sounds strikingly relevant from the perspective of a conservative, God-fearing man watching what he deems to be society falling apart around him. With high-pitched vocal callbacks and an insanely infectious chorus, Lacey prophesizes Biblical revelations (“If I believe only half what I read, I got a reason to be dug in deep”), condemns homosexuality (“I seen those boys kissing boys...but I raised my son to be a righteous man, I made it clear to him what fear of God means”), and clings to his guns (“Last night I heard a voice that said, ‘Don't give up your gun”). It’s apparent that the views are told from the perspective of someone who misunderstands Christian values though, and that Lacey is being ironic in the same way as when he wrote “You’re beating with a book everyone that book tells you to love” on ‘Archers.’ This is made clear when Lacey hits listeners with "God is love", effectively undoing all of this hypothetical figure's claims in one fell swoop. Score: 4.2/5
37Brand New
3 Demos, Reworked


"Out of Range": This seldom-heard track was released as the b-side to the single "Mene", but it is actually the far superior song. Lacey always used to speak about sonic directions he wished he'd taken the band, and whenever I read that quote, it always takes me to "Out of Range" - a heavily ambient, winding slow song with tons of Modest Mouse influence. For that reason I always felt like this song should have been included on Daisy, perhaps instead of one of the tracks lower on this list. The song is mesmerizing and transcendent, ensnaring your senses in a web of spellbinding vocals and studio electronics. There's really no song in BN's discography quite like this. Score: 4.2/5
36Brand New
Science Fiction


"Out of Mana": At first, I was fairly unimpressed with this song. Those searing electric guitar riffs are impressive at first, but they don't really change throughout the song. Over time I became fascinated with the lyrics, particularly the line "Did we build Babel together?" For those who aren't fresh on their Bible studies, Babel was an evil kingdom that built a tower they claimed would dwarf/overshadow God himself, so God struck down their tower in an act of vengeance. In this line, Lacey seemingly asks us if, together, we wittingly or unwittingly built the evil society we live in today. On top of that, there's the "I'm a ghost" hidden track outro, which is one of the loneliest and most haunting moments in BN's canon. Make no mistake, "Out of Mana" is more than just a set of basic riffs. Score: 4.2/5
35Brand New
Daisy


"You Stole": The quintessential Brand New slow burner, "You Stole" taps into the atmospheric core of Daisy. From lyrical themes of mysterious forests and fiery destruction to the band's patient build-up to two separate, searing riff sections, you can almost smell smoke by the time this song's six minutes have expired. Brand New's greatest asset has never been technical instrumental mastery; their primary draw has always been their ability to craft a haunting world that no other band would seem to be able to concoct. "You Stole" is a primary case-in-point. The main weakness of this track is that after the first batch of fiery riffs, the song's second half merely cycles through the same exact progression yet again. It's undoubtedly by design that this track doesn't have to go for broke, but it still feels a tad creatively strapped. Score: 4.3/5
34Brand New
Deja Entendu


"I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light": One of Deja's most underrated cuts, this is the song that, three tracks in, sets the tone for the entire album - not Tautou or Sic Transit Gloria. From Lacey's mildly-panicked sounding vocals to the clever one-liners and quips, it truly feels like a microcosm of the record, and really helps it reach its stride. It's got two enormous vocal hooks (and we won't let you in / the coastline is quiet) and atop persistent acoustic strumming and varied percussion, it feels at odds with itself - the instrumental atmosphere sounds so soothing, but Lacey's lyrics and mannerisms sound urgent and defiant by contrast. It's gorgeously unsettled, like much of Deja. The only weakness here is that it doesn't do anything impressive or over-the-top instrumentally...but otherwise it's a damn good song start to end. Hard to find much fault with that. Score: 4.3/5
33Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"The No Seatbelt Song": This is one of YFW's big 3 - the top tier, cream of the crop of the band's debut. No Seatbelt is heart-wrenching if you pay close attention to the lyrics, where Lacey laments losing control over his life - and only has himself to blame: "I shot the pilot, I'm begging you to fly this for me / I'm here for you to use, broken and bruised, do you understand?" There's also a hauntingly romantic ache to the chorus, a sincerely stated, "It's only you, beautiful or I don't want anyone / If I can choose, it's only you." As the slow, deliberate drums pound with slightly more authority in the track's second half, Lacey admits "We're wrecking." There are numerous ways to interpret the lyrics, but it's clear that Lacey feels tied to the object of his affection, begging her to rescue him from himself. Score: 4.4/5
32Brand New
Science Fiction


"451": Ah yes, the lost Daisy mega-hit. Not really, but Science Fiction is a melting pot of BN's styles, and "451" would have been right at home along other frenzied, stomping shout-fests like "Gasoline" or "Sink." There's an almost Manson-like percussive drive to the song, in a way that recalls "The Beautiful People", and the penultimate song to the band's entire career is more fun than any other track they crafted for their 2017 swan song. Screams of "one more time with feeling" feel all-too appropriate given where this song lands, a last-hurrah before the sad, sobering "Batter Up". When the song starts to fade near the end, but then comes blasting back into focus even louder than before, it's one of the best moments on all of Science Fiction. Score: 4.4/5
31Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Handcuffs": This one gets a top-40 nod because of how exceedingly dark and poignant its lyrics are. It's funny to think that at #31, it's my least favorite BN closer - which is really more of a testament to how good they are at ending albums than anything approaching a knock on this beautiful, twisted ballad. "I'd drown all these crying babies / If I knew that their mothers wouldn't cry", Lacey sings at one point, while at another juncture adding "I'd drive my car off of a bridge, If I knew that you weren't inside." The song must also have a weird cult following, because I've seen "it's hard to be the better man when you forget you're trying" etched into a subway wall, and a bathroom stall, on separate occasions. Kind of cool but also weird. Also, the cellos here are perfect. Score: 4.4/5
30Brand New
Deja Entendu


"The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows": This gets some extra love for being the first Brand New song I ever heard (shout out to NHL 2004), but it's also the picture-perfect encapsulation of everything this band is. Chugging bassline, melodic verses, shouted chorus, an incredible bridge, and a second chorus (I lie for, only you) that is equally as intoxicating as the primary one. Everything about this song is memorable and immediately engaging, without ever being cliche. It's just a remarkable showcase in songwriting and dynamic vocal/lyrical/instrumental execution. This is BN firing on all cylinders: it's an ideal gateway song for new fans, and chances are if you don't like this song, you don't like the band. Score: 4.5/5
29Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"The Archers' Bows Have Broken": The penultimate TDAG track has two incredible things going for it: (1) the unrelenting drums that serve as a momentous driving force behind the entire song, and (2) the chorus, which is top-10 in BN's discography. One thing that's a little underrated here are the lyrics, which seem like a more refined and symbolic take on some of the issues touched upon in 'Desert' - people abusing power, religion, or both, and using them to tear society down instead of build it up. For instance: "Who do you carry the torch for, my young man?...Do you carry it around just to burn things down?" and "You're beating with a book everyone that book tells you to love." The first could be a KKK reference, and the latter is even more transparent, condemning those who use religion to justify their hate. The song, which stems from the Battalions demo, is a far more refined and energetic take with surprising thematic depth. Score: 4.5/5
28Brand New
Daisy


"At the Bottom": I can still remember being mildly disappointed when this was released as Daisy's lead single, on the heels of that life-changing TDAG album. In retrospect though, it's the perfect song to represent the album - it showcases the record's odd blend of rural twang and grunge-infused intensity. Time has also treated the song well, with lines such as "some men die under the mountain just looking for gold / some die looking for a hand to hold" becoming legendary in BN fan circles. The shout-along chorus is amazing, too. One of Daisy's only flaws was that it seemed to have no middle ground - either a lazy track like Bed or a barn-burner like Sink. With just a couple more tracks like "At The Bottom", it could have rivaled TDAG as the best of the band's entire discography. Score: 4.5/5
27Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


"Seventy Times 7": The ultimate bitter song, "Seventy Times 7" is an anthem for betrayal and severed relationships. Anyone who lived through the early 2000's pop punk scene knows that the song is a direct diss on Taking Back Sunday's John Nolan - part of an ongoing feud between the band's that included TBS's "There's No 'I' in Team" - that all stemmed from Nolan sleeping with Lacey's girlfriend at the time. There's almost too many quotable verses to choose from, so I won't bother - but to put it as succinctly as possible, the lyrics get downright nasty. From the chugging pop-punk riffs to Lacey's acerbic delivery and screams, this is easily one of the greatest songs of the band's early days. A borderline classic track by BN that only falls outside of the top-25 because of its inherently limited maturity and artistic direction. Score: 4.6/5
26Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Not the Sun": OK, this might be the single most entertaining song in the band's history. From the opening bass line to the drums and guitars that drop in like an explosion, to Jesse's varied vocal pitches and screams, to the fact that every last second of the song is catchy as hell - this is essentially their classic rock masterpiece. The song could be blasted at a party, on the radio, wherever, and it would be a hit. At the same time, it's extremely clever, from underhanded marriage proposals "say you're my friend but why won't you be, my family?" to witty wordplay: "You've set on me but you are not the sun." The song is a melody and energy bomb, and I'll never get tired of letting it blow me to pieces. Score: 4.6/5
25Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Millstone": Our top 25 begins with Millstone - one of the most melodic and memorable tunes from Brand New's magnum opus. What initially drew me to Millstone was its lyrics, as the prevalent loss of innocence resonated with me heavily at the time of the album's release ("I used to pray like God was listening, I used to make my parents proud"). Of course, even independent of Lacey's top-tier lyricism, the song stands as one of BN's best - the verses are impassioned, the chorus is the kind that every single attendee at a live show knows verbatim, and the drumming - while never overly complex - is always on-point and has some really nifty fills. The bridge is also one of their best on the album, bar perhaps "Not the Sun." I kind of feel the same way about Millstone as I do Spin Light - it's a memorably infectious piece of music without flaws from start to finish. It's only fault is that it isn't more ambitious, but hey, they can't all be epic bids. Score: 4.6/5
24Brand New
Daisy


"In a Jar": "In a Jar" isn't a flawless track like some of the others in the top 25 (the "stones in your eyes" bit is a little repetitive, and the soft-to-loud transition comes off as clunky), but what it does well, it does so well that it deserves this spot. First, the lyrics: "Living in a jar, think the lids the sky, you're hoping for a savior on your cross outside / Stars are just a million little fireflies, the sun is just a hole, it's the light outside." That's some downright gorgeous imagery, tied into existentialism. In addition, it has one of the coolest, and creepiest, hidden backwards verses right before the first screamed chorus (a preacher saying "the chariots shall rage in the streets" - a Biblical quote pertaining to the end of the world). The rest is just raw energy. Lacey's screams are so visceral that they're almost unintelligible, and when the "stones in your eyes" part re-emerges, it feels like a melodic reprieve. Brilliant. Score: 4.6/5
23Brand New
Science Fiction


"Batter Up": All feels, baby. This is the final official song released by the band, and it's one worthy of their legacy. The song is somber and forlorn, sounding like a man with regrets reminiscing about the direction he took his life in: "Are there pastures bathed in some uncertain light where you won’t graze?
Paths you won't take?" There's also a mysterious UFO theme that's interwoven, which references an area near my hometown: "I saw something in the night sky over Camden...now when will they come?" The motif is revisited at the end of the song, which fades into the sound of thunder, voices, and eerie spaceship noises. There's enough mystery here to keep me coming back over and over, in hopes of discovering how all the lyrics tie together. "It's never going to stop, batter up" is the perfect mantra for a swan song. Score: 4.6/5
22Brand New
Daisy


"Sink": This is the heart and soul of Daisy. The thumping, driving beats. Lacey screaming for his immortal soul. Endless static, distortion, and reverb. Really, it's the concept by which Daisy was conceived - prior to entering the studio, Lacey said the band wanted to create something more straightforward, but that would be fun to play at live shows. I tend to think he was referring to Sink, because I've seen my share of BN shows and there's few that are as fun to mosh to as this. This is like Brand New's "Another One Bites the Dust"; its beat is just so ridiculously infectious that you can't help being engaged in the song for its entire duration. Score: 4.7/5
21Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"Missing You": This was the song that legitimized the very early "Fight Off Your Demons" demos, to me. Amid the project's lacking production, what stood out immediately was this song (at the time "Untitled 04") and its ridiculously catchy chorus, replete with a fuzzy electronic backbeat. Of course the song would be remastered in 2015, and then reworked to perfection on "3 Demos, Reworked", but regardless of which version you prefer, this is a borderline top 20 song by the band. It's overflowing with sentiment, seemingly about someone who's died - and the song is BN wishing him/her well, and hoping they find comfort in the embrace of their loved ones on the other side: "We just hope that you made it / We hope that you're celebrating, with people you miss." It's possibly the happiest, if a little bittersweet, track that Brand New has ever made - and it's definitely their most infectious melody ever. Score: 4.7/5
20Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis": This track has developed a bad rap in the wake of the allegations against Jesse, and it's for good reason when you carefully inspect the lyrics. However, that discomfort doesn't make this a bad song. It's one of the most personal tracks Lacey has penned, detailing a night of drinking where he takes a girl home to have sex. The brilliance of the song is in how well he paints this picture: "Your eyes are fighting sleep while your mouth makes your demands / You laugh at every word, trying hard to be cute"..."Brass buttons on your coat hold the cold / In the shape of a heart that they cut out of stone." The devil is in the details here. His motives may have been evil ("I almost feel sorry for what I'm gonna do"), but it's essentially a journal entry - and a vivid one at that, capturing every sight and smell in the room that night. On a depressing canvas that erupts into an emotional chorus, it hits on all possible fronts. Score: 4.7/5
19Brand New
Science Fiction


"Same Logic/Teeth": Same Logic//Teeth represents the most balanced track on Science Fiction, alternating between granular screams and gorgeous vocal harmonies, all atop acoustic picking that refuses to fade even during the track’s most intense, fiery verses ("goddammit you look so lovely but you sound so ugly!") If you took Brand New's career and threw it in a blender, you might get a song that sounds like this. It has YFW's pointed anger, Deja's melodic verses, TDAG's screams, and Daisy's twangy, enigmatic atmosphere. The song twists and turns, gradually unfurling across its runtime without a hitch - never dull, never at-risk of stagnancy or repetition. Same Logic/Teeth is the zenith of Brand New's songwriting skills - the best of all worlds, with perfect production, on display for all the world to hear. Score: 4.7/5
18Brand New
Daisy


"Gasoline": This song is so visceral, raw, and gut-wrenching that it sets itself apart as an even better version of "Sink" - an unpopular but correct ranking. Lyrically, it's brimming with frustration: “I swear it's like dying to catch a ghost” / “It feels like I'm trying to hold smoke.” Obviously, these are impossible exercises, but it gives us an idea of how Lacey sees his efforts versus his goals. There’s an overwhelming sense of futility, like everything he wants in life is out of reach, and you can feel that despair in his unintelligible, almost non-human screams. Accompanied by manic electric guitars and an eerie, heavily distorted outro, ‘Gasoline’ stands as one of the most mysterious yet simultaneously revealing tracks on all of Daisy - a glimpse into the mind of someone who's losing it. This is Brand New at their absolute heaviest. Score: 4.7/5
17Brand New
Science Fiction


"137": Aptly named after the radioactive isotope Caesium-137, a component of nuclear fission that was never detected in Earth’s atmosphere until after the detonation of the first nuclear bombs during World War II, the song feels frighteningly relevant in today's on-edge society: “Let's all go play Nagasaki, we can all get vaporized”. Here, Lacey seems to be lamenting the carelessness with which we boast and threaten nuclear warfare, an event that could effectively end humanity in one fell swoop (“Let's all go and meet our maker, they don't care whose side you're on"). The song builds to this epic, distorted riff that feels like a dreadful culmination of the previous taunts. The most comparable moment within Brand New’s catalog is ‘Limousine’, considering the gradual build to the prolonged guitar solo, but I’d liken it even more so to mewithoutYou’s ‘Rainbow Signs’ - a 2015 account of a nuclear apocalypse with similarly foreboding messages and religious undercurrents. Score: 4.7/5
16Brand New
Daisy


"Daisy": On Daisy’s title track, a recording of a preacher starts things off with a reference to Just As I Am, a well-known hymn from 1835 about how to find salvation through Christ. It’s ironic, then, how Lacey goes on to defame himself as totally beyond salvation: “I'm an ocean nothing floats on…I'm a word that no one ever wants to say.” He then proceeds to translate that message to his views on the entire world, noting that “If the sky opened up and started pouring rain / Like he knew it was time to start things over again / It'd be easier that way.” Anyone who is familiar with the story of Noah knows what this is about, and Jesse’s sly indication that flooding the world “would be easier” than trying to fix the status quo shows the depths of despair to which he has sunk. Brand New effectively uses compelling prophecies, stirring paranoia, and Biblical passages to symbolize the end of the road; either for Jesse, the band, or society in general. It's a chilling message. Score: 4.8/5
15Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't": Perhaps the pinnacle of Deja Entendu, "Tommy Gun" is an undeniable pop-rock masterpiece. The bassline is the best they've done, hands down. The lyrics sound braggy but were actually written from the perspective of Adam Lazzarra (TBS), mockingly. At the time, Lacey and Nolan had made up, but Lacey was then sparring with Lazzarra for a list of issues ranging from Adam cheating on Nolan's sister to making fun of his fragile mental health. Lacey digs at his arrogance and even his stutter, in retaliation. From a musical/lyrical standpoint, it is highly addicting - every verse is memorable ("I am heaven sent, don't you dare forget" / "Every line is about who I don't wanna write about anymore"...and infinitely goes the list of quotable and witty lines. The pinnacle occurs during the bridge, an increasingly shouted and emotional "This is the reason you're alone, this is the rise and the fall!" This is peak Deja. Score: 4.8/5
14Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon


“Soco Amaretto Lime”: The careful, deliberate strums of Lacey’s acoustic guitar and the carefree attitude expressed in the lines, “I’m gonna stay eighteen forever” and “You’re just jealous cause we’re young and in love” serve as an anthem to youth everywhere or to those of us who are feeling a little reminiscent of the good old days. Shouts of "everybody wake up" paint the image of staying up 'til dawn, after roaming the streets and owning the night as a young person who still has everything to gain and can see his entire life in front of him. As time has wore on, the song has become a popular concert closer/encore track, carrying a huge nostalgic factor for those who have been BN fans from the beginning. The "stay 18 forever" line has also recently come to carry special meaning, as the band - to anyone's knowledge and as was hinted by the members themselves - formally ended in 2018. Thus, their gravestone would read Brand New: 2000-2018. They'll literally be 18 forever. Score: 5/5
13Brand New
Science Fiction


"Can't Get It Out": I initially coined this as "Deja at night", which is semi-accurate due to its witty pop-rock aesthetic and overall accessibility. But over several listens, it also revealed itself to be a lyrical powerhouse that is crucial to the album. "I thought I was a creator / I'm here just hanging around" is a double-edged sword, possibly referring to God (who created the world but now seems AWOL) or Lacey himself, a musician who feels like he's exhausted his creative paths. "Got my messiah impression / I think I got it nailed down" hits in a similar vein, using religious wordplay to describe how Jesse thinks he fooled people into believing he's something he's not. There's even a throwback to Limousine's bridge ("lose your face in the crowd"). When the "Not just a manic depressive" line comes in, it gives me chills every time. "I've got a positive message / Sometimes I can't get it out" feels minorly tragic. This track is loaded with meaning. Score: 5/5
12Brand New
Daisy


"Vices": This song feels a bit like a psychotic breakdown. It curiously chooses to kick things off with a 1920s gospel hymn (‘On Life’s Highway’), before abruptly transitioning into a cacophonous sea of thumping bass, crashing drums, dissonant electric guitars, and oh – Jesse Lacey screaming “we need vices!” like a deranged madman. Amidst verses chanting “those days are dead” and a chorus that invokes imagery of a woman leaping to her demise, it’s not exactly the cheeriest of songs. The most intriguing line, and not to mention a recurring image, is that of some forest, somewhere, burning down. Lacey screams at a fever pitch for the entire duration, making it one of Brand New's heaviest songs. "Vices" is without a doubt Daisy's tone-setter, and without it, the album would be lacking an essential bookend. It's a superb song, and it's perfect within the context of Daisy. Score: 5/5
11Brand New
Leaked Demos 2006


"Nobody Moves": The cadillac of b-sides, this demo is pretty similar structurally to Limousine. It winds through seven minutes of celtic-sounding guitars, lullaby-like chimes, and gradually increasing intensity that travels through an imagined bank heist with hostages all the way to the most epic instrumental breakdown and guitar solo in Brand New’s history. No seriously, it makes the solo in ‘Limousine’ sound amateur, which again begs the question as to why Lacey and company never made an effort to properly include it on an LP (yeah, it leaked ahead of TDAG, get over it Jesse). Had it been included on TDAG - instead of say, Untitled - it would have been a top-tier song on an already amazing album. Alas, it’s still one of the best songs the band has ever recorded in any capacity, and bolsters "Leaked Demos 2006" as a crucial piece in any fan’s collection. Score: 5/5
10Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Luca": The Luca bomb is real. A few days after TDAG was released I fell asleep listening to the album on headphones, and was startled awake by the banshee-like scream of "where you've been" at the end of the song. I smacked my head into the wall and almost fell out of bed; I was pretty pissed at the time but now it's a hilarious anecdote and I've found that lots of other Brand New fans have similar stories. Brand New are masters of the quiet-to-loud progression, but there's no other moment in their discography that rivals the creepy brutality of Luca's hook. Lyrically, it's yet another diamond. The third set of verses references the death of Luca Brasi from The Godfather, a speculative demon on Earth who raped an Irish prostitute, impregnated her, and then murdered the mother and child both. Based on the self-damnation prevalent across TDAG, it wouldn't be surprising if Lacey considered himself to be such a monster, or at least equally as removed from possible salvation. Score: 5/5
9Brand New
Science Fiction


“In The Water”: This masterful piece of indie-rock feels like The Moon & Antarctica meets The Dark Side of the Moon. It basks in its glistening, crystalline guitar work that shimmers like the surface of a lake on a hot summer afternoon. The guitar licks in the beginning of the track almost feel old-western; a country-ish vibe emanating from each elongated slide. There are two equally as beautiful choruses, the first “never had it any other way” and the second, “I can’t think it enough.” The guitar solo late in the song isn’t anything overly complex, but it is perfectly placed and bleeds with sheer passion – it just feels like an emotional goodbye. The spoken outro rewards longtime fans with a spine-tingling throwback to Daisy. In the right setting, this could be the greatest Brand New song of all time. Score: 5/5
8Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Sowing Season": "Sowing Season" is the perfect intro for any album, but especially TDAG. It varies tempo frequently, possesses existential lyrics ("before you put my body in the cold ground, take some time and warm it with your hands") and of course the heart-jumping-into-your-throat screams of "YEAH!" that precede the chorus and are sprinkled throughout the song. The wiry, distorted riffs and well-placed, militant drum fills announce the record as a clear upgrade over Deja Entendu's pop-punk; an entirely different beast to be reckoned with. The defiantly screamed "I am not your friend / I'm not your lover / I'm not your family" that closes things out is possibly the most bone-chilling passage in any Brand New song. By the time"Sowing Season" has ended, there can be no possible doubt that The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me will be a phenomenal album. Score: 5/5
7Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Degausser": This reminds me of something that would have been on Pink Floyd's The Wall - and not just because of the eerie children-choir verse, but also because of its raw nature and uncurbed anger towards God:" Life is a test and I get bad marks / Now some Saint got the job of writing down my sins / The storm is coming." When Lacey shouts the final line of that stanza, a chill shoots up my spine every time because you can truly feel the resentment he carries towards the idea of someone documenting his imperfections and using them against him. Upon initial inspection, it feels like he's bracing for God's wrath; however, the line is sung with such vitriol that it almost feels like a threat to God instead of the other way around. TDAG is full of ambiguous meanings, but that's one of my favorites. The instrumentals here are both ugly and beautiful. Score: 5/5
6Brand New
Deja Entendu


"Play Crack The Sky": I still maintain that this is one of the greatest acoustic songs of all time. The ocean metaphor for love is amazing: "what they call love is a risk, to always get hit out of nowhere, by some wave and end up on your own." In fact, every single line is brilliant and stands out due to the simplicity of the song's acoustic guitar canvas, which smoothly rocks to-and-fro to simulate the gentle lapping of waves against a rocky shore. There's a darker element to the lyrics too, which ties all of these themes into death - and compares the idea of falling out of love to drowning: "But this ain't the Dakota and the water's cold / Won't have to fight for long." Ultimately, Lacey concludes that he's better off without this person who he once loved, wrapping up a gorgeous 5 1/2 minutes with "need you like water in my lungs...this is the end." This is BN's lyrical and acoustic peak. Score: 5/5
5Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"You Won't Know": This is the most devastatingly depressing, elaborately textured song in Brand New's history. The layering of the entire song, especially in the introductory verses, is incredibly deep and complex - and the rest of the song, which is almost exclusively screamed/shouted - is so emotional that it can take any mood and plummet it into darkness. This is one of those songs that even when you can't decipher all the lyrics, the emotion is so palpable that you can totally understand the vibe of the song anyway. Of course, delving into the lyrics only makes it better, with heart-wrenching lines such as "You can't blame your mother, she's trying not to see you as her worst mistake", "I wish that I could tell you right now / I love you / But it looks like I won't be around" or even "love is just God on a good day." This song is like an emotional freight train smashing through a glass house; just pure obliteration. Score: 5/5
4Brand New
Science Fiction


"Lit Me Up": "Lit Me Up" is a simmering brooder; this moody slow-burn whose pinnacle isn't a guitar solo or chorus, but rather a creepy, electronically distorted "when I grow up, I want to be a heretic." The song is hauntingly prophetic, as Lacey unwittingly predicts his demise: "Lit me up and I burn from the inside out / Yeah, I burn like a witch in a Puritan town" and then ultimately concludes that "it was a good dream." Many of the #metoo movement's detractors referred to it as a witch hunt, so the Salem witch trial depiction, in retrospect, is uncanny and downright chilling. Then, the song ends with an equally spine-tingling reversed audio passage: "If so...you will be dead tonight". This is one of the only Brand New songs that doesn't "go anywhere" but is better because of it. One can almost hear the crackling of wood and imagine the flicker of flames dancing against the silhouette of an autumn night sky. Absolutely haunting stuff. Score: 5/5
3Brand New
Daisy


"Noro": One word comes to mind: mystique. This song is shrouded in it, from the creepily lamented intro "little light, lead us through the night / and if we die, burn down the forest" to the forthrightly proclaimed chorus of "I'm on my way to hell" and the adjoining Manson-like backing vocals "well I tried...God knows that I tried." This is one of Brand New's darkest moments. The song feels cursed, almost as if there are underlying demons waiting to break loose. For the longest time, Brand New never performed the song live, which only added to the song's lore. Musically, it's driven by an addicting, sinister beat that releases energy in the form of Lacey's subdued verses and ultimately an explosive electric guitar breakdown. The track is brought full-circle with an outro that finishes that gospel hymn (‘On Life’s Highway’) that "Vices" started, giving Daisy a finished, cyclical feel. Undoubtedly the best song on the album and a no-brainer top 5 for the band in general. Score: 5/5
2Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Limousine": An epic written about the death of seven year old Katie Flynn, who was killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Over a 7:42 runtime, the song (still sung by Lacey) is narrated from multiple perspectives, including the driver responsible for Katie’s tragic death. “Limousine” is quite possibly the pinnacle of TDAG, starting with the squeaking of acoustic strings over Jesse’s somber vocals. Following a couple of pace changes, the song kicks into full gear with a repetition of, "well I love you so much, but do me a favor baby don’t reply / 'cause I can dish it out, but I can’t take it." The climax is a well placed and emotionally charged guitar solo that eventually fades into static and an almost inaudible voice recording by producer Mike Sapone. When the dust has settled, so to speak, the listener essentially has no choice but to sit there in awe over what has just transpired. This is the saddest and most cathartic song they've ever written. Score: 5/5
1Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


"Jesus": There are very few songs that I can say legitimately had an impact on my life, but this is one of them. This track is a religious/existential crisis put to song, as Jesse Lacey pours his heart out to God despite knowing that the conversation only goes one way: "Well, Jesus Christ, I’m not scared to die, but I’m a little bit scared of what comes after"..."At the gates, does Thomas ask to see my hands?"..."I know you're coming in the night like a thief...I know you're coming for the people like me." For as much as he pleads with God on this track, he also seems to be warning him against a return: "we all got wood and nails." The gentle, soothing acoustics and tremering, wavering vocals in the chorus make this one of the most lush and mesmerizing songs ever to come out of the indie-rock or emo genres. This is Brand New's calling card; a masterpiece they'll be tied to twenty years from now when we look back at TDAG as one of the greatest albums of all time. Score: 5/5
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