Saturday, June 20, 2009
Music Review: Brand New - The Devil and God are raging inside me (2006)
I've always liked Brand New. Back in the day I saw them play once in Buffalo and once in Syracuse. I even hung out with them once. One of my friends always told me he was friends with the singer's little brother.
I picked up this record sometime in 2007, which was rare for me, because it was a major label release and I'm a card-carrying indie snob. I had heard them play the song "Jesus" on TV and was really impressed. The song drones in a hypnotizing way, and the guitar parts almost sound like Explosions in the Sky. The vocals are almost stream-of-consiousness styled, but work great because there are more dynamic parts. The song starts off in an almost Pavement-level middle voice but then get into pop-punk territory toward the end. Also, I had loved Deja Entendu, and we played that heavily on WGSU.
This album has some really pretty parts and just some relentlessly heavy and abrasive parts. I love the varied production, which I consider a response to the Audiogalaxy era. The songs contrast each other really well, just like on other great records of the 00 era like "Lifted" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot." The songs are sad, but expansive. It's pop-punk but it's experimental and ambitious.
This record has staying power. I'm very excited to hear the follow up.