those days are dead

With each album they release, Brand New lives up to their name. While many bands keep their sound more or less consistent, Brand New has offered up something different on each record. The pop-punk of their initial release (Your Favorite Weapon) gave way to the considerably darker musings of Deja Entendu. Following Deja was The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, which wasn’t as jarring a transition as between albums one and two, but was still miles away as far as content and production. Brand New began introducing weird clips of unintelligible mutterings and ambient noise, a notion that is much more prominent on their latest release, Daisy.

Daisy is bookended in noise and distortion, starting with the hard-to-make-out kiss-off “she says goodbye to the ground and jumps” and ending on a sustained tone in the right ear that draws to mind the final scene of Pi. Throughout, the combination of distortion and singer Jesse Lacey’s vocal approach make it difficult to decipher the lyrics – which is a shame as lyrics have always been a bright spot in the bands oeuvre.

Lead single “At the Bottom” serves as a fair thesis statement for Daisy. Though much of the album yields a much more abrasive sound, “At the Bottom” straddles the 90s-rock feel of many of the tracks while nodding to the album’s more straightforward offerings. The middle of the album grants some sonic reprieve. “Be Gone”‘s country guitar and otherworldly singing is surely what it sounded like when Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil himself, and follow-up “Sink” is an earthy stomper with explosive punctuations of rage. “You Stole” and “Daisy” are favorites, both maintaining Daisy‘s bleak themes while fighting their way out of the assaultive mêlée. The quiet wax and wane of guitars on “You Stole” compliment the swirling round of the title track – one that makes the listener slightly uncomfortable while drawing them deeper into the dark.

Daisy dropped September 22, 2009.
Check out Brand New’s official website.

this almost counts

For several months, I had been planning on attending the November 16th show at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX – Brand New, Thrice, and mewithoutyou. Unfortunately there were a series of mishaps and miscommunications that left me without a ticket to the sold-out show. Lucky for me, it was a nice night.

Stubb’s is an outdoor venue, and running behind it is a bridge that straddles a creek. You can’t see much from there, but the sound is surprisingly good. A few years ago I “saw” Sonic Youth from this perch, so I thought I’d give these bands a try.

I unfortunately missed most of mewithoutyou’s set, but what I did hear was good. Next up was Thrice. They sounded amazing, even from behind and outside the venue. They’ve never failed to amaze me live, and I wasn’t let down even though I spent their set watching a possum navigate along the bank of the creek. For whatever reason, Thrice declined to play their biggest singles – “All That’s Left” and “Image of the Invisible” – but the new material was well-received.

Topping off the night was Brand New. Though they shied away from tracks off of their debut, the night was a good mix between Deja Entendu and the more recent The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. Early on in the set, vocalist Jesse Lacey leaned toward shouting more than singing, but finally settled into his usual tone. Like Thrice, I wished I would have been able to see the show, but was more than happy with the experience I had sitting out behind the venue.

listen up: with a heart so vicious

Made for my friend Jesse’s birthday, it ends up being a love letter to emo.

With A Heart So Vicious Tracklist

01| Bayside – Masterpiece

02| From First to Last – Note To Self

03| Armor For Sleep – Car Underwater

04| Brand New – Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades

05| The Impossibles – This Is Fucking Tragic

06| Blood Brothers – Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck

07| This Providence – Card House Dreamer

08| Head Automatica – The Razor

09| Fall Out Boy – XO

10| Coheed & Cambria – Devil In Jersey City

11| Alkaline Trio – Queen of Pain

12| Saves the Day – Bones

13| Taking Back Sunday – Error: Operator

14| The Academy – Slow Down

15| The Get Up Kids – Forgive and Forget

16| Jimmy Eat World – No Sensitivity

17| The Jealous Sound – Anxious Arms

18| Say Anything – Spidersong

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