Brand New Balances 'Devil,' 'God' On New Album
Long Island quartet Brand New embraces polar opposites on its upcoming major label debut, "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me." The Interscope set hits stores Nov. 21 and was produced by the bandLong Island quartet Brand New embraces polar opposites on its upcoming major label debut, "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me." As previously reported, the Interscope set hits stores Nov. 21 and was produced by the band and Mike Sapone, who helmed Brand New's 2001 debut "Your Favorite Weapon" and 2003's "Deja Entendu."
As implied by its title, the album's inter- and intrapersonal conflicts play a significant role in the band's bang-and-whimper rock style, encompassed best by opener "Sowing Season (Yeah)." Starting out softly, vocalist Jesse Lacey reveals "She's losing all her friends/losing them to drinking and to drugs," looping the sentiment until the band roars into hardcore attack mode.
His electric voice gets an equally electric guitar backing on "Millstone," with big tom drum breaks and layered vocals on lines like "I used to know the name of every person I kissed."
"Jesus Christ" is one of the more pop/punk-oriented tracks, with featherweight vocal harmonies and a steady drum beat that eventually boils over into a frenzy. The pre-chorus of "Degausser" is augmented with what seems like a dozen voices, its instrument tracks heavily panned and giving the song a paranoid feel.
Misery and love meet on "Limousine," where the sweet plucks on an acoustic guitar are offset by the miasma of creepy sounds in the background. "I can dish it out/but I can't take it," Lacey admits, "I love you so much/but do me a favor, baby/don't reply." "You Won't Know" is driven largely by its bass line and the all-instrumental "Welcome to Bangkok" is a flurry of activity, the guitar lines distorted to the point of noise somewhere between shredding and screeching.
New wave and glam show their colors on "Not the Sun," halting abruptly for the scary and lonesome "Luca," a tale of sending one's lover to the bottom of the sea. One of the few songs that clocks in under four minutes, "Untitled" continues the creepy theme and gives way to the album's biggest song, "Archers." Packed with dirty bass lines on the verses and clean, tambourine-laden, 4/4 drumbeat choruses, the song offers an enormous crescendo and a breakdown of all the vocal tracks singing in a round.
The set concludes with "Handcuffs," a melancholy reflection on punishment and indifference, as Lacey sings, "It's hard to be the better man/when you're still lying/it's hard to be the better man/when you forget you're trying."
Brand New begins a fall tour with Dashboard Confessional Friday (Oct. 13) in Mesa, Ariz.