Long Island, New York outfit Brand New has come a long way since its formation in 2000. Truth be told, I, myself, feel a little old discussing a band that formed 12 years ago. But one thing that has held true for the indie rockers is this: they’re still relevant.
The band’s debut LP Your Favorite Weapon was a perfect example of a young band trying to stake its claim in a difficult music market. The album showcased a proper blend of fast pop-punk-fused tracks with an element of structured, teen-angst choruses that demonstrated the band’s apt songwriting ability. The beauty of a young upstart act is there’s always room for improvement. Enter Deja Entendu.
Brand New turned the so-called ‘sophomore jinx’ on its head with its second release. Singles “Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades” and “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” were amongst the immediate standout tracks, but songs ”Okay I Believe You, but My Tommy Gun Don’t” and “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot” solidified Deja Entendu as an unforgettable release.
Nearly three-and-a-half years later, with expectations running high, Brand New appeased its hungry, impatient fans with The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. I was instantly hooked with the album’s opener, “Sowing Season,” a song that quickly became an all-time favourite of mine. After many listens of the album as a whole, I wondered where exactly the band would go with its next release. It’s a question I always ask after listening to an album. I know full well I’ll have to wait two to four years to get an answer, but one can’t help but wonder what future direction a band will head towards upon the release of another solid full-length offering.
It was 2009, and another three years had past between releases when the band unleashed its most recent LP, Daisy. Many fans of the band will tell you this is not their favourite Brand New release, myself included. But I feel as though Daisy is exactly what I needed to hear to keep my full interest for the band in tact. It’s not often an alternative pop-punk band progresses towards a heavier, post-hardcore-tinged sound.
A few months after the release of Daisy, I saw the band live in concert for the first time. The mood was very atmospheric. A diverse setlist, featuring heavy-hitters like “Vices” alongside crowd pleasers like “Jesus,” seemed to have created a complementary sound that only a band that has been around a decade could have accomplished in a live setting (I’d be remiss if I hadn’t mentioned that Glassjaw aptly set the tone with a strong opening performance).
Now, three years later, I couldn’t help but wonder what the current state of the band was. Two weeks ago, frontman Jesse Lacey did a lengthy interview with a British zine, detailing some of the band’s past, present and future goals. The most interesting tidbit was him discussing how uncomfortable the guys felt during the whole process of creating Daisy. Speaking to the website ‘God is in the TV,’ Lacey explained:
“I think we, physically, were feeling very uncomfortable, and creatively, we were feeling uncomfortable, we felt a certain commotion in our lives that we found very bothersome, and we wanted to express that in that record. The problem was, that when we were done with it, it was a lot more chaotic than we thought it was.”
For many bands, any down periods are often met with hiatuses or breakups. For Brand New, it was nearly met with the opposite: an album release. When all is said and done for this band, and fans are able to retrospectively celebrate its catalogue of releases , we won’t be left with a blank spot in 2009, but instead an experimental period piece called Daisy.
Brand New is scheduled to enter the studio in April, where the next chapter of its career will begin to take shape.
Justin describes himself as a writer and filmmaker who enjoys hammering away on the guitar during spare time. Professionally, he’s a Sports Listings Reporter for TV Guide in Canada.
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