Brand New
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me


5.0
classic

Review

by Slex USER (47 Reviews)
June 5th, 2016 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Take apart your head

There's something about this album, how deathly affecting it is, how poisonously emotional it all is; it sounds dangerous, and above all, transcendent. From the humblest moments of acoustic backdrops and Jesse Lacey softly ruminating, to whirling crescendos of anguished screaming and guitar intricacy, it all feels so pivotal, so consequential. I'd normally try to refrain from interjecting my subjective stance into an album review, but that's another of the most powerful and alluring aspects of this body of work; Jesse Lacey writes about very broad and relatable themes, and this album could truly be the heart and soul of a generation, but it's so personal, so recklessly emotional and cathartic. What I mean to say is, this feels like an album for Brand New, the album they had to make, but by being so captivating, so honest and giving, it feels like a creation that we can hold aloft as a map of our own troubled inner thoughts and heartache, a vessel and an outpouring for YOU to hold deep within you. It's not like my other two favorite albums; it doesn't share the mindset of Sufjan Steven's sprawling and internally destructive Age of Adz, the at times gleeful acceptance of futility; it isn't like Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with its assured and careful fragility and control. This is the sound of a band consistently fighting its way out of dark existential corners, every track lending itself to the overall atmosphere of despair and triumph, of rage and grace, and sounding better and more accountable for every whim Brand New doesn't hold back on.

Forget Daisy for a moment; that record is an entirely different statement than is made here, and not a representation, I believe, as Brand New as actual people, like me and you. It's too messy and brash and ***-it-all to truly connect to, too adrenaline-fueled for someone to be able to latch onto and hold forever. But this, this thesis of dark and light, this complexly written and thought-out introspection of love and death and faith and failure. What makes this album so enduring is that amongst all the musical strengths of the album, Vin Accardi's ever expressive and intricate guitar riffs, Brian Lane's engaging and controlling drumming, and Jesse Lacey's piercing shrieks and intimate croons, the skeletons of these songs are the passion and depth of delivery in its themes and construct, with the music complementing it, while in most cases it would be the other way around.

It's in the way the chorus of Sowing Season comes crashing in breathlessly, a droning and chaotic desperation leavened by a melodic and soft bridge that makes the song better for being more dynamic and unpredictable. In Degausser, there are so many musical and emotional shifts that it truly feels like a turbulent ride through a troubled mind, a brash choir of existential conflict that leads into Lacey tearing his vocal chords apart and then backing off into a slightly tongue-in-cheek and reigned in bridge and outro. But nowhere does the essence of this album more exist than in centerpiece Limousine, a cinematic post-rock journey of emotional highs and lows and crests and swells. The bruised spirit of all that this means, of all that this can hold and explain about the human condition, is displayed in a morphing wreck of a song, all the weight of the world resting in its tension and amazement at the suffering of guilt, all finally released at the end with useless and frustrated guitar feedback. It's the kind of release that this album thrives on, a careful explaining and then bloodletting of all we as disconnected humans go through. The suffering may not be our own, but we can use it as a guide to connection, and not feel quite as alone.



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user ratings (6303)
4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Slex
June 5th 2016


12160 Comments


#2 of old reviews that I am posting. Might take a break from posting old ones to review something newer soon, haven't decided yet. Anyways, feedback as always is appreciated!

Digging: Trophy Scars - Astral Pariah

Snake.
June 5th 2016


23492 Comments


uh oh

Slex
June 5th 2016


12160 Comments


let the shitstorm commence

CamiloG
June 5th 2016


2552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another review for this album?

PumpBoffBag
June 5th 2016


1005 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

All bitching about over-reviewing this album aside, this is a very well-written review. Personal, but never gushing. Nice job

Slex
June 5th 2016


12160 Comments


thanks, appreciate that
I fully expect this will probably tank my approval rating but it's an old review of mine and i'm proud of it and i love this album so oh well

Slex
June 5th 2016


12160 Comments


even before the neg i kinda figured i'd get some hate for posting this lol, hence why i'm thinking of reviewing a newer album after this. Anyways, thank you!

onionbubs
June 6th 2016


13737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review. honestly, i dont care how many reviews an album has. as long as theyre good, im cool. and this one was good. pos

Digging: Invent Animate - The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was

TheSpaceMan
June 6th 2016


13192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

review needs more commas

Slex
June 6th 2016


12160 Comments


Hahaha yeah, there are way too many commas. I'm gonna use the excuse that this review is like 3 years old

Slex
June 6th 2016


12160 Comments


Also thanks Onion!

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
June 6th 2016


14730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

even 3 years ago you had serious writing chops. great job on this man

Digging: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Slex
June 6th 2016


12160 Comments


Thanks Yo-yo, really appreciate it. Doesn't come close to your Alligator review tho!

BeneaththeDarkOcean
June 6th 2016


687 Comments


Your thematic comparisons to Age of Adz and MBDTF certainly caught my eye. Maybe I should give this record a shot. Never thought Brand New were really my thing, based on what few musical moments I've heard from them... may need to snag a copy to see what all the fuss is about.

Slex
June 6th 2016


12160 Comments


Never too late to try. If you're at all a fan of Modest Mouse, a good way to put it is that this is Brand New's Moon and Antarctica

ksoflas
June 6th 2016


1334 Comments


Excellent writing.
Awesome album.

onionbubs
June 6th 2016


13737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not sure about the comparison, because theyre really the only albums that could line up within their discogs. tlcw and long drive are not the same for brand new as their first two, and a comparison between good news and daisy just doesnt work.



but moon and antarctica is in my top 10 albums of all time and this ones in my 3 so im not complaining

Slex
June 6th 2016


12160 Comments


Yeah I don't think any of their other albums are comparable, but I hear a lot of Moon & Antarctica here in regards to the atmosphere and dynamics of both albums

BlackLlama
June 6th 2016


2178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Revisiting this after years; bands early work holds up so well.

Conmaniac
June 6th 2016


26494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow really well written man prob your best review yet



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