Brand New – Daisy

brand new daisy

Written By: Ben Millikan


Label: DGC/Interscope – Rating:

In the digital age that we live in, with instant communication at our perpetual disposal by means of texting, Twitter, and Facespace, it’s somewhat of a remarkable feat that post-hardcore rock act, Brand New has, for all intents and purposes, remained a band shrouded in mystery.

You can follow them on Twitter, but its authenticity is dubious. They have official Facebook and Myspace accounts, but they are anomalously unadorned with few updates. Even their own website (which, prior to its current revamping, contained their previous album cover on a plain white background) had very little info on the band’s whereabouts or happenings. Although they may take caution in maintaining a low profile, it is in this sequestered environment that Brand New has put together another jaw-dropping album with their fourth full-length, “Daisy.”

Staying within the same dark mood that set the tone for their previous album, “Daisy” is every bit as abrasive and lyrically intense as “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me.” In fact, if the lyrics from “The Devil And God” revealed a glimpse into the spiritually distraught world of vocalist Jesse Lacey, then Daisy shows how that world is on the verge of totally breaking down. With recurring themes of death and loss, haunting images of fire and burning forests, and plenty of biblical undertones, it is evident that at least the Devil is still raging inside of Jesse. But it is his unabashed honesty that makes him and his thoughts so engaging.

The best example of this may be on “Noro,” the final track of the album where Jesse openly discusses the futility in continuing the spiritual battle that he feels he is losing: “Sitting duck, running out of luck / Our car’s stuck on the train crossing / How am I ever gonna know peace / How will I ever see Your light through the trees?” The thoughts that Jesse weaves into words have a haunting complexity to them that compels you to drop what you’re doing and analyze what he’s trying to say. The only thing that makes this task difficult and quite frustrating is that the album doesn’t contain any lyrics, forcing Brand New fans to duke it out on the message boards as to what Jesse is literally saying.

Taking their cue from Jesse, the rest of the band knows exactly when and how to interject themselves, matching the music with the intensity of the vocals and the force of the lyrics. Whether it be the chaotic fury of the opening track “Vices,” (an At The Drive In-meets-Nirvana number where the choppy riffs of guitarist Vinnie Accardi fight for noise supremacy against Jesse’s straining vocal chords and his feedback-induced microphone) or the more mellow tracks “Bed” and “You Stole”––Brand New has an unprecedented quality of being able to fuse harmonious moods of music and lyrics.

In a rare interview with Kerrang!, Jesse commented on the upcoming album by saying “We were thinking a lot more about what we’d want to play when we were up onstage rather than actually what you’d want to hear on a record.”

This may be a deterrent for some listeners, but it shouldn’t. “Daisy,” albeit brief, contains no shortage of creativity and innovation. It is by far Brand New’s most raw, straight-forward album to date, with a live feel that runs consistently throughout. Brand New brings to the fore a sort of reckless abandon to their playing that is at the same time quite controlled and beautifully captured. We still have to wait and see, but “Daisy” could very well be Brand New’s most definitive album to date––and if the rumors are true, quite possibly their last.

Like Brand New? Check Out: Manchester Orchestra, Thrice

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