Review Summary: Spiked with some unusual guitar effects, vocal lines, and unexpected turns, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me will make you want to crawl into the little hole from whence you came. And when it's all said and done, you'll still be asking for more.
1. The act or process or an instance of repeating or being repeated.
For those of you who have heard this album, (or any part of it, for that matter), you will know that the entire concept of it is based on repetition. From the vocal lines to the guitar riffs, Brand New unleashes a completely new and unexplored world full of dissonance, class and a certain airyness about it that can only be understood by sitting yourself down into a comfortable Lay-Z-Boy and listening to the album song by song.
This album was recorded with an idea in mind that it would be the band's "breakthrough album", which it most definately was. If anyone has listened to Brand New's "Your favorite weapon" or "Deja Entendu" albums, you'll have a pretty good idea what they're like in terms of genres. "Your favorite weapon" got them the initial sucsess by being a great pop punk album with songs like "Jude Law and the Semester Abroad" and "Failure by design". "Deja Entendu" was the happy medium between "Your favorite weapon" and "The Devil and God are Raging Inside me". It kept the catchy pop-punk feel but also brought into light the new 'dissonance' that they were eventually aiming for with "The devil and god are raging inside me", which they nailed to a point. Like i said, the album is based solely on repetition, and probably some of the craziest guitar effects you will ever hear on any album in this genre. Songs like "You wont know" take a single bar guitar riff and build it up throughout the entire song into a mindblowing rollercoaster ride from hell. all with one guitar riff. The creativity put into this album is absolutely incredible, and it definately shows in the songwriting.
The album begins with song called Sowing Season. The verses appear to be somewhat lacking in terms of energy or "pazazz", but that is all made up ten-fold with the chorus, which consists of a series of half screamed, half sung "Yeah's", which catch you completely off guard if you're not ready for them. An excellent way to start an album, and an awesome peice of songwriting, to boot.
Following Sowing Season is a song called Millstone, which has a set of mindblowing verses, but a somewhat mediocre chorus, which doesn't seem to really fit the feel of the song. The main reason being (i think) that the drummer uses a closed hi hat. No crash, no ride, no open hats. It takes a lot of potential energy away from the chorus, which got to me after listeninig to it a couple times. I still love to listen to it-- solely for the intensity of the verses and the spectacular bridge. The song is ended by some eerie war drum-esque tom and snare beats.
Jesus Christ is next is one of my personal favorites on the album not only because of the music, but the writing is extremely well done with lines like "And i will die all alone And when i arrive, i wont know anyone". This song is a perfect example of Brand New's use of repetiton, only using one guitar riff the entire song. It's not the type of song to raise your blood pressure and get you all worked up, but it will raise is the hairs on the back of your neck and a single left eyebrow thinking "what the fu... woah."
Degausser is the next track on the album. One of the more forward and simple songs on the album , Brand New still manages to put the dark, and somewhat somber feel into the song by putting group vocals, done by children i should add, for the prechorus-- followed right after by jessie's signature blend of singing and screaming. Filled with fat guitar tones, huge bass and drums, and firery leads, this song will definately grab you by your coat collars, and scream right into your ear. The song concludes with an almost perversely-sung set of lines like: "when we were made we set apart part life is a test where i get bad marks, now some saint got the job of writing down my sins the storm is coming, the storm is coming in". Flawless" I think so.
Limousine is a 7:42 second song, which is probably the hardest song to listen to on the album. This isn't saying too much, because i will still listen to the song on a regular basis, but the use of the same vocal line over and over gets a tad bit agonizing. The lyrics make the song halfway enjoyable in this one. But not the music.
Next is another one of my personal favorites called You Won't Know. I could listen to this song a hundred times over, and each time, i would hear something different. The layering is amazing in this song, and is brilliantly recorded. It's absolutely flawless from start to finish, and is a must for any budding Brand New fan. It begins with a slightly eerie intro of reverberated and delayed guitars followed by Jesse Lacey crooning a somewhat spinetingling verse, which leads into a more up-beat and heavier version of the verse for a chorus. If there was a song to give 5/5 on in this album, this would be it. Great writing, great execution...just... well. It's just great.
Possibly the most interesting and moving song on the album, Welcome to Bangkok has no vocals at all, and truly showcases Brand New's genius when it comes to repetition and layering. The only dialogue is a staticked-up voice saying "Space cadet, Pull out." Clocking in at 3:05, BN squeezes this one for all it's worth by building it up into a gigantic wall of sound starting with absolutely nothing at all. This would be an instrumentalist's form of heroin. Extremely catchy and contagious without even singing a word. Now that's talent.
So...oddly enough, the next song called "not the sun" made me think of the killers mixed with Whitney Houston. Don't ask me why, just listen. I am not a fan of it, but the one thing positive i have to say about it is the strangely satisfying time change in the bridge. It's one of those things in music that theoretically shouldn't work, but somehow, it does.
Luca is like The devil and god's version of "Boy who blocked his own shot", but with out of control guitars, drums, and vocals. In other words, it's like the boy who blocked his own shot on crack. Up to the bridge, you'd love to think it's one of the more easy-going songs on the album. But just like the suprise chorus in "Sowing Season (Yeah)", the bridge takes you by suprise (especially if you're wearing high-quality noise cancelling headphones at 2 A.M. in the morning like i was). Get ready for somewhat of a rude awakening...
Untitled is somewhat of a pointless track. It must have that name for a reason...
The Archers' Bows Have Broken is like a breath of fresh air after the bizzare track previous to it. but that aside, it's a fairly good song, with a fast-paced feel, a strangely catchy chorus, and a sweet guitar solo that doesn't even have a pitch. after listening to this song, i've decided Lacey and Accardi are the ultimate alchemists of guitar tone. hands down. If you want proof, listen for the over-bearing, distorted metal scraping of a sound coming out of the bridge like a bullet out of a gun.
Handcuffs caps the album with the most easy going song on the record. The music may be chill, in a sense, but the lyrics are some of the most intense with lines like "I'd drive my car off of the bridge
If I knew that you weren't inside. With a pedal to the floor who could ask for more
a fantastic way to kill some time" All in all, an excellent song to end an excellent album with.
The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is truly a work of art. Even if i didn't like a song or two on the album, i will still listen to it religiously just to appreciate the time and effort that went into each and every detail. There are some albums that you can tell got as much attention to detail as my english paper on The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But then there are some, such as The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, which has so much attention to detail, that you have to listen to it over, and over, and over just to soak it all up. It's a fantastic album and i couldn't have asked for a better one from the boys of Brand New.