Review Summary: So infuriating that it made me write a second review.
Okay, full disclosure, I never liked Brand New. And I mean, NEVER. I can't remember listening to their records and thinking that I am even merely interested. Their mix of whiny nonsense, seemingly shapeless song structures and inexcusably unimpressive vocal and instrumental performances always caused nothing, but distaste in my neck of the…ears. And before I just sort of accepted that their music is not for me and let the band be a band, even though their fake struggles and determined lack of creativity did annoy me. But over time I grew to gradually detest Brand New and everything their formless and rudimentary snooze fest of a musical repertoire represents. I could never fathom just why they receive the publicity they receive. But I guess that’s just how it works, when you dislike something, you’ll never understand someone else’s enjoyment of it.
So keeping all of that in mind, from the fact that they failed to impress me time and time again to the fact that their rising popularity and my lack of understanding for it kept on annoying me, I have to admit, with much hesitation, they actually stepped up their game on here. I secede, they actually are better. I mean, that isn't saying a lot, but they still are. This album is still the same unexciting and utterly underwhelming charade they've played before, but I don't have the notion to fall asleep anymore. 'It has its moments' is the best I can say about this record. Song after song, moment after moment, we are presented with an empty, passionless, dreaded out collage of build ups without any actual pay off.
Let’s forget about the perfectly redundant and tedious Lit Me Up and move on to the first actually intriguing piece on here, Can’t Get It Out. That song has a memorable chorus and it was one of the rare moments that I did manage to remember after listening to it five times at this point. But I can’t make myself to remember anything surrounding it. There isn’t anything special in the instrumentation, vocals or lyrics. It’s only the melody that happens to be simple enough to remember. Next comes Waste, which has a potential to become something worthwhile, but nothing happens all throughout. It just sort of drags on with no interesting musicianship; Waste indeed. Skipping Could Never Be Heaven and all of its perfectly bland and uneventful dragging musical torment, on to Same Logic/Teeth, which is yet another potential-filled cut on here. It shows the only outstanding vocal performance on the whole album, that is the shrieks and yelps that would sound unimpressive on any other record, but on here they are like a diamond in a compost bin. 137 is pretty much the exact same thing as anything else, but at the very least it has a certain pay off at the end, even though it lasts about ten seconds and you have to sit through a parade of boredom to get to it. Out of Mana is one of the more upfront tracks on here, but again, it's layered with the subpar vocals and boring progression that leaves absolutely nothing to remember afterwards. Of the highlights I could point out In the Water, purely because it is the most easily digestible and accessible track that could have served as a perfectly okay deep cut on any other album. The vocals fit in and don’t distract that much from the otherwise perfectly okay music on here. The following Desert and No Control are both completely forgettable and expendable musical equivalents of a yawn so big, it almost breaks your jaw, that’s how painfully bleak they are. 451 is possibly the album's ballsiest, catchiest and heaviest track, but while it has definitely the most memorable and interesting hook, it's still reeking of some odd cock-rock influences that just step completely out of line with the rest of the album. And finally the long awaited closer, an obtuse overlong mess of a composition that is Batter Up. It’s like a flagman ship of all the tedious, utterly expendable tracks on here. Eight minutes of uneventful dread and fake misery. Delightful…
Jack the LandDiving recently posted a list of songs reminiscent of an 'unfulfilled sneeze', this album fits right in. It's a dreary mess with minimum exciting moments; HOWEVER, unlike its predecessors at least it DOES have some. They're just a little hard to find.
In the Water