The Devil and God are raging inside Brand New, and I think the Devil is winning. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is the dark to Deja Entendu‘s…light isn’t the right word, because that album is depressing as hell…let’s put it this way: TDAGARIM is Deja‘s slightly less attractive but still totally appealing younger brother.
In a musical culture that is currently driven by singles (albeit via the Now! That’s What I Call Music series and iTunes as opposed to actually picking something up at the record store), Brand New goes against the grain, making a cohesive piece of rock goodness. Themes of faith, loss thereof, self-doubt, and personal failure pop up throughout the album. It doesn’t create a direct storyline, but the songs all make sense in the context of one another.
There are several instances of loud interrupting soft, fast taking over slow, and quiet musings versus angry rants, all playing into the feel of two opposing forces being at play. The songs range from acoustic to loud rockers, emo to an almost 90s-ish feel (does the chorus to “Luca” remind anyone else of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Breaking the Girl” in a weird way? anyone?), with a prime example of range being the sixth track, “You Won’t Know”. The beginning sounds like it could have been a track on Deja, but halfway through you think it could have been on Your Favorite Weapon. It is, I believe, the missing link. Rejoice.
Standout tracks include “Archers” and my favorite, “Jesus Christ”. The former is one of the few uptempo rockers on the album, while the latter best captures the themes of the album with its truly fantastic lyrics.
While it may take a few listens to acclimate yourself to the record, it’s worth giving it a shot. As I mentioned previously it’s no Deja Entendu, but few things ever will be.