October 1, 2009

Brand New

Brand New


Anyone who had any doubt that Jesse Lacey is a songwriting genius; an unparalelled lyrical Behemoth; a throwback from bardic traditions who in times gone by may have graced the ears of kings with his deep, dark, gleefully sadistic and painfully witty tales.. I point you in the direction of Brand New‘s latest, simply titled album Daisy. Ok, so it’s hard to be objective when you love a band this much.. bias will always creep in. That said, Daisy, released around 2 weeks ago, has rocketed to #6 in the US album charts, which speaks for itself, and suggests that there is no stopping this juggernaut of a band.

The stylistic shift that Brand New have made over the last 9 years is a much documented one, and to echo the musings of many journos before me I pose the question: who would have thought that the same young Pop-Punk band from Long Island, New York, who enjoyed a degree of success with Your Favourite Weapon: a fun and thoughtless teeny-Punk effort in 2001, could become the authority on Progressive and Experimental Emo / Alternative, crafting as they do emotive, intense and lyrically poignant songs full of depth and meaning. Equally, who would have thought that these boys could follow up The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me with an equally perfect album, maintaining stylistic consistency whilst still injecting new sounds and ideas into their music. I was sceptical.. evidently unnecessarily.

The album opens with Vices, which starts with a crackly megaphone sample of On Life’s Highway, a gospel hymn written by Bertrand Brown, before exploding into a distorted, discordant powerchord frenzy. Vices opens the album like a punch in the gut, ending as abruptly as it begun and leaving you feeling flustered, disoriented and bewildered. Tracks such as Bed, title track Daisy, and the first single from the album, At The Bottom, by comparison are time-sig-bending, slow-building, emo-infused soft-rock tracks. Powerful, thoughtful, perfectly arranged, expertly and interestingly produced and heart-wrenchingly introspective, these are 3 highlights of the album, and indeed Jesse Lacey‘s songwriting career, displaying prominent, guttural  basslines, delicate and ornate guitar lines, complex kit patterns and, of course, Lacey‘s signature strained, raw and emotive vocals that tug at the heartstrings and stir the soul.

At this point I must humbly concede that I simply haven’t the linguistic prowess to do Daisy justice… You just have to buy it. It is a phenomenal effort that flows seamlessly from each tortured track to the next; a genre hopping masterpiece. Get on down to the MySpace page and prepare to be amazed.


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