Science Fiction

Brand New

Procrastinate! Music Traitors, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


When I was but a wee sophomore in college in 2006, Brand New came to play. This was after they had released their so-called ‘masterpiece’ The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. The band was bored on stage and subsequently bored the audience. They didn’t seem to care, so we didn’t either. I have never understood the massive cult-like following behind this band. To me, they always seemed like the ultimate downer emo band, like The Smiths but with way more whining.

To that end, on their first album in eight years and possibly their last, the emo superstars return with their own distinctly different alternative rock sound. Opening track “Lit Me Up” doesn’t really start until two minutes in and is very melancholy, with low chords and a jarring melody that makes it hard to really get into. It’s a very moody track, still sounding very emo all these years even after emo left the mainstream.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Can’t Get It Out” is the main single and sounds a bit like Brand New of old. It’s catchy and you almost don’t want to like it. But it’s an undeniably great song and ends up pulling you in, showing that the band still has a little bit of that old magic all this time later. “Waste” is quite slow, but some people would probably dig it; it’s okay, but nothing to really scream and shout about. “No Control” is the most emo track here: slow, moody, and full of angsty teenage attitude. It’s not a personal favorite.

“Could Never Be Heaven” is a ballad that is one of the highlights of the album and dare, I say it, is actually quite a good song. Damn, I haven’t said that about this band since 2003!

“137” is another slower song that still comes across pretty good and is another notable track. They’ve slowed down the angst over the years, but they still manage to get through to their audience. The intro to “Out Of Mana” seems like Brand New circa 2003 and the fans certainly dig that, though there’s not much else there that’s worth the time or effort to recommend. “Desert” is another slow jam but I kinda dig it. This record really wasn’t as overrated and godawful terrible as I thought it would be.

The eight minute closer “Batter Up” is another slow jam. The band really does come across like the Smiths now, full of moody attitude but wisened in age so they don’t sound so overly whiny about everything anymore. All in all, this not a terrible record but I still don’t feel like Brand New is worthy of all the heaps of praise poured over them.

Rating: B-

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© 2017 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Procrastinate! Music Traitors, and is used for informational purposes only.