Thursday, September 3, 2009

Early Review: Brand New’s Daisy feels stale

Editor's Note: Please feel free to comment and tell us what you think about this review. Also, take some time to check out the site and the About Apollo's Cred page.

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


CloneTigers said...

"the most passionately sung lyrics are essentially inaudible"

Haha. Maybe you should get your ears checked.. I hear them just fine.

You might want to give the album another listen, as you really seemed to have rushed *cough*half-assed*cough* this review. I know it might sound like a relatively shallow album (for brand new anyway..) but there's a lot of stuff just under the surface. (err, play "In A Jar" backwards and then cross reference what you hear with the Bible.. then compare that with the attitude of 'the Devil and God' vs Daisy. It's quite interesting)

Also, it's "you Stole" .. Not "You Stole Me"

(ya, you definitely 'rushed' this..)

Anonymous said...

i can't agree with this review. for one, a lot of your facts are wrong. You even got the song name wrong, a sign that this is just a first impression. this album is a real grower. besides, you never even say what makes this album so bad, that it's a 4/10.

Anonymous said...

Fanboys got their panties in a twist!

JP said...

I'm dissapointed with the album but believe the good outweighs the bad.

Sterling said...

"Fanboys got their panties in a twist!"

I'll concede that; but honestly, this isn't a review.

My review of Apollo's "review"

"Vices" Err, just the facts mam, just the facts.. No opinions or Apollo insights?

"Bed" -- Wait, you don't even have this track in your review?

"At The Bottom" was a decent review, though, personally, I thought the chorus was the weaker part of the song. The group of lyrics right after the bridge ("Now I'm drowning in the flood I made")are my favorite.

"Gasoline" -- This one is missing too. Hmmm.

"You Stole Me" wait, wait, I mean "You Stole", okay, I got it right this time. I personally would disagree that this song 'induces boredom', but if that's how it made you feel then it's a valid opinion. This is probably your most best 'review', because you actually give an opinion and describe why you didn't like it.

"Sink" -- (Hey, shouldn't "be Gone" be in this spot??) Again, there's no "review" here.. Just the facts, mam.

"Be Gone" Hey is that an Apollo opinion? I'll half agree with you -- it is a little short. How did you feel about the distorted lyrics, or the music? Dangit! I'll never know because you didn't write about those..


You Skipped "Bought A Bride", "Daisy" (you skipped the title track?? Weak.)"In A Jar" and "Noro"?

Daisy, In A Jar and Noro, in my Opinion, are three of the top four track on the album, and you skipped them to talk about lyrics you don't know who wrote (without actually talking ABOUT the lyrics)and interviews other magazines have made?

Hipness Rating: 8 out of 10 (for hating on Brand New)

Actual Rating: 2 out of 10 (which is more than it should get for skipping the strongest songs of the album)

Andrew Steadman said...

Dear Sterling,

It's clear you've never read an album review before, so let me explain.

Record reviews are (almost) never track-by-track analyses. Robert Christgau, perhaps the most respected rock critic, barely writes four sentences most of the time. You're lucky you got this much.

As for hating on Brand New... I can tell you, Mark's a fan of the band. He's disappointed in this album because it doesn't live up to Brand New's previous output. You'd know that if you had actually read the review instead of thinking about how you were going to rip on it, though.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Andrew Steadman,

The incredible ignorance you show in such close-minded statements as "you've never read an album review before" is ironic. What album reviews have YOU read, sir?

The review you just desperately attempted to protect reeks of poor grammar, unfinished thoughts, and below-average communication skills. "You're lucky you got this much." What a douchebag thing to say. How, then, does Pitchfork regularly produce much longer pieces of inarguably superior writing quality?
This comment has nothing to do with Brand New; it's just about you being a piece of garbage.

Anonymous said...

also since this is obviously not a very reputable review organization we can assume you're listening to some terrible transcode can we not? Or do you not even know what that is?