Sound — 8
Flooding the emo' subgenre for the last half-decade or so with glamorous thrashing, witty lyrics and an ever-evolving sound, Brand New return with a grittier, heavier set of tracks than ever before. With The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, front man Jesse Lacey experienced a metamorphosis by writing more clever and powerful songs that varied in both sound and lyrical content. Tracks like Degausser sent listeners into an even deeper level of gloom with Lacey screaming such lines as I can't shake this little feeling, I'll never get anything right that capture listener's attention. The newest album, Daisy, tries to recapture this essence while still presenting creative tactics to distance itself from previous work. This unfortunately may be Daisy's biggest downfall as the band at times tries too hard to reel listeners in. Daisy attempts to delve into an even heavier, wider cesspool of despair and depression than before and at some parts, it succeeds relatively well. The opening track, Vices, is far and away Brand New's darkest and most intense track yet, as it begins with an excerpt from an old number by Bertrand Brown, then goes straight into noisy, screaming, off the wall guitars accompanied by Jesse Lacey's relentless jarring of We need vices in a yell that not even The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me reached. The title track, probably the highlight of the entire album, starts off with a rather relaxed sonic guitar line, then breaks into an explosive portion headlined by bassist Garrett Tinney, creating an addictive vibration of sound that stuns listeners while simultaneously questioning the idea of psychological rebirth as Vincent Accardi (who wrote the track) reveals his doubts of his own worldly value with Lacey singing softly I'm a preacher with no pulpit, spewing a sermon that goes on and on.
Lyrics — 7
From this point on, Daisy begins to falter. While Accardi's song writing skills are nothing to laugh about, they often pale into comparison to that of Lacey, which will frustrate many returning fans. The monotonous sound of Bed is easily the most boring track on the record, with the sloth-like repetition of Laid her on the bed, a line from the chorus that seems to take up nearly half the song that is supported by an uninspiring guitar line that will produce confusion as to whether or not this is even Brand New playing. The album lacks the beautiful soft to loud transitions of guitars that flowed so well in the previous album. Many of the tracks seem out of place, especially Be Gone, which seems to be a filler track although it does show some originality with the vocals. Gasoline takes away from the album's overall novelty, with generic lyrics such as So there's a sickness going around, but no one's got a vaccine that seems to rely too much on the overwhelming beating of the drums and Lacey's explosive screaming. The muffled yells and over-the-top guitar seem to try way too hard to capture our attentiveness during In a Jar resulting in a seemingly rushed piece of music. By the end of the album, fans will still be impressed with the group yet feel some disappointment that it doesn't measure up to previous work.
Overall Impression — 7
While Daisy does have its share of issues, it is by no means a bad album. The issue is that it falls beneath Brand New's lofty standards. While the yelling and creativeness does work in many of the tracks, Brand New seems to have come to a crossroads in their career with one road leading to another album and another finally ending their exceptional career with two great albums drifting in their wake.