In this age of Twitter, Myspace and fans having apparent 24 hour access to bands, Brand New are something of an enigma. In the 3 years since the release of The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Brand New have done a handful of tours but have barely been sighted in the media or online. Despite (or perhaps because of) their comparative silence, when Brand New puts out a record, people listen. Into a storm of fan anticipation, Brand New released Daisy in 2009.
About 2 minutes into the first track, Vices, you’re keenly aware that this is not the Brand New you once knew. Gone is the collegiate pop-punk that dominated their first two releases, and in its place is something not immediately identifiable. Vices begins with an ancient sounding recording of a female singer accompanied by a lone piano, before the calm is obliterated by a maelstrom of noise and screaming. It is raw emotion writ large, and it immediately grabs the listener’s attention.
The pace ebbs and flows throughout the album, the ferocity of the opening track replaced by the calmness of Bed, the almost country twang of single At the Bottom (with the record’s best lyrics: “we are never what we intend or invent/I make little lies and then I pull them apart/think something dark’s living down in my heart”) and the grim foreboding of You Stole. The pace is at times frenetic on songs like In a Jar, Sink and Bought A Bride (the best Nirvana song you’ve never heard), with singer Jesse Lacey pouring everything he has into a vocal delivery that is at times an anguished scream, and at times a delicate hushed croon, almost a whisper.
The prevailing atmosphere here is one of (barely) organised chaos. The record is, while not always being easy to listen to, an amazing achievement and something that sits very comfortably with the best the music world can offer in 2009.
Listen to Brand New HERE