Review: Brand New

Holly Aker

Brand New is like a continuously developing butterfly.

The band hit the scene in 2001 as a mere larva with the punk-pop album “Your Favorite Weapon.”

Then with 2003’s “Deja Entendu,” Brand New hatched into a caterpillar that began to inch away from punk-pop genre with a more alternative sound.  

For the next three years, Brand New shut themselves up in a cocoon.  When they emerged, Brand New had become a beautiful butterfly with the release of the much anticipated “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Us.”  The album was completely different than their two previous albums with intense, experimental songs.

After promoting “The Devil,” Brand New returned to their cocoon.  This time when the band emerged with “Daisy” in September 2009, Brand New became a butterfly more gorgeous and more intricate than ever before.

“Daisy” is unlike anything Brand New has ever put out and unlike anything fans could have expected.  The album has a raw, darker sound and a fierceness that draws listeners in.The album experiments with all different kinds of sounds and effects.  The bass is more prominent, the guitars have more reverb, the drums more booming, and the solos more gravity-defying.

The song “Vices” starts out the album with an old church hymn and then blasts into the intense screams of lead singer Jesse Lacey.  These screams are heard on the majority of the rest of “Daisy” as the tortured soul of Lacey belts out the themes of loneliness, death, and hardships.

One of the most bizarre tracks on “Daisy” and in Brand New history is “Be Gone.”  No effect is spared on this track with what could very easily be a sitar as the main instrument.  Lacey’s voice is also altered with:  a mechanical effect makes the lyrics almost completely indecipherable.

The only aspect that is continued from previous Brand New albums is the deep Christian theme.  Nearly every song has an outright Christian reference although some are buried deeper than others. The song “Daisy” starts out with a clip of man introducing a song on the radio, and this song, “Just As I Am,” is in fact a very old church hymn. Many fans are unaware of Brand New’s constant Christian themes, but “Daisy” makes these references clearer than any previous album.

 The biggest change in “Daisy” is the songwriter.  Lacey handed over the position of main songwriter to guitarist Vincent Accardi for the album though Lacey did help in some stages of writing.  

This shift could very possibly be the cause for the drastic change in style.  Taking such a big risk with the style change could mean a few things for Brand New:  it could either increase fan base, or leave old fans with a bad taste.  However, being the ever-evolving butterfly that is Brand New, fans should know by now to expect the unexpected.