Thursday, September 3, 2009
Early Review: Brand New’s Daisy feels stale
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Daisy, the fourth album from Long Island-based post-punk quintet Brand New, makes its way to stores on September 22.
This time around, the angst and the plaintiveness are not particularly engaging. At least when compared to the expanding scope of the band’s inventiveness, Brand New’s transition from the self-aware genre-flouting Deja Entendu to the remorseful, weightier The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me rewarded fans and left them unsure of what to expect next. It’s rare for a band to improve creatively after joining up with a major label, but Brand New held its own. Daisy, however, reverses the growth spurt, sporting a rawer, less polished sound and indistinguishable lyrics.
“Vice” begins with an old church hymn for a minute and a half, then brusquely segues to vocalist Jesse Lacey screaming. The opener escalates into post-hardcore noise rock that wraps up quick.
The album’s single, “At the Bottom,” has a very catchy chorus and as good a bridge as any song on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. “I'd serve you drugs on a silver plate/ If I thought it would help you get away/ I hope that you would do this for me.” This is the case where the single is better than the album, so expectations for Daisy, which were already high, augmented even more.
“You Stole,” the slow burn exhibit, loiters about and drags in the middle to the point of inducing ennui.
“Sink”’s vocals alternate between screaming and restrained quiet singing and sounds a bit more like Dave Grohl than Lacey. “Be Gone” is unusual but too short to make an impact.
Lead guitarist Vincent Accard took the forefront in writing many of the album’s songs in place of frontman/songwriter Lacey. Unfortunately, the most passionately sung lyrics are essentially inaudible. Perhaps Lacey chose screeching to articulate lyrics that were not his own.
Lacey revealingly told the U.K. music mag Kerrang!: “I think a lot of the record is about us trying to make decisions about how long the band should go on. When I listened back to it, I realized how many songs are about something coming to a close, or knowing when it's time to put something away and move on.”
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me communicated the band’s desire to be a great seminal act above the slew of its subgenre’s inhabitants. Therefore, to what do we attribute this album’s singularity and hollowness?
Brand New traversed into a more aggressive direction that doesn’t necessarily benefit its long-term growth. Lacey & co. must be holding back the best rabbit in the bag of tricks for the next outing. They have more to give us – their fans are sure of it.
Hipness Rating: 6 out of 10
Actual Rating: 4 out of 10