Long Island based rock band Brand New has been creating dynamic explosions since their formation in 2001. Lead by their passionate and powerful singer/guitarist Jesse Lacey, Brand New never fails to sculpt songs that shatter the boundaries of music and create an emotional response in the listener. Lacey’s shrieking vocal attack, the violent sounding guitars, and commanding drum beats all come together to create their unique sound. That sound, is Brand New.
“Sowing Season (Yeah)”, the leading track on Brand New’s third studio album, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, is a burning example of Brand New’s compelling style. Highlighting their use of stop-start dynamics, powerful lyrics, angry vocals, and hard-hitting guitars, “Sowing Season” grabs the listener in the ears and doesn’t let go.
Although most of Brand New’s songs are rampant and fiery, they have also displayed their ability to bring it down. In “Jesus Christ,” the group’s highest charting single, and a personal favorite of mine, the volume levels are turned down, but the level of emotion remains high. Roping all of the fury of the average Brand New song into a slow, quiet and still touching five minutes is a challenge that most would find insurmountable. Yet, Brand New did it, and they did it very well. The track’s melancholy feel attacks the very heart of the listener, and is in my opinion, one of the most gripping songs ever written.
Although the group has developed an alternative sound over their years together, Brand New started out as a straight pop-punk band. Their first album Your Favorite Weapon was released in 2001, a completely pop-punk album. But even as a pop-punk band, Brand New was still very special. Jesse’s vocals are equally powerful, and the guitars are still just as forward sounding on Your Favorite Weapon. What sets the album apart from the other more mature albums (Deja Entendu, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, and Daisy) is the speed and the themes of the album. Most every song on Your Favorite Weapon is fast and loud almost all the way through.
The songs on Your Favorite Weapon also focus on issues that hit home with teenage fans–girls, broken friendships, etc. In contrast with the themes of death, and struggling to discover a higher power that dominate The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, the earliest album seems almost childish. The perfect example of Brand New’s early work, is the first and only single from Your Favorite Weapon is “Jude Law And A Semester Abroad”.
Brand New’s unique music can take control of the listener in a way that I’ve never experienced with any other artist. Their songs are well constructed and executed, and will never leave you disappointed.
Billy, when he’s not attending high school, enjoys music, books, and writing. He has lived in Minnesota his entire life.