Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Bertrand Brown, Brand New, Daisy, Deja Entendu, Glassjaw, Head Automatica, Modest Mouse, Releases of the Week, The Smiths
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Brand New’s “Gasoline” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts
On first listen, Brand New‘s fourth release, Daisy, is like watching your first child die in a fiery car wreck. It’s a mangled, noisy and gut-wrenching experience which anyone who has listened to the band for an extended period of time will cringe at.
From there, however, it does get better, albeit, not good enough to be mentioned in the same breath with any of their other albums. And that’s Daisy‘s largest problem on an album full of issues. It just can’t stand up to anything else the group has released.
From the onset, you’re shocked and nearly frightened by “Vices,” which consists of an ill-conceived sampling of Bertrand Brown‘s “On Life’s Highway,” followed by lead singer Jesse Lacey’s best impression of Glassjaw and Head Automatica frontman Daryl Palumbo. At least for the listener’s sake, and for the sake of the album itself, it only improves from this point.
Intertwined with the band’s attempts at southern rock and metal are small signs of what the band used to be. Stealing portions of their various sounds from over the past decade, Daisy touches on punk, noise, and a wailing, spacious sound sure to evoke images of Deja Entendu. Lacey and the rest of the band have been describing themselves as a “guitar band” and simply “rock” since about 2004. Though not always true, this album may finally live up to these notions previously only held by the band itself.
But amidst all of this band-redefining noise, it appears that the band has finally crumbled under two of their biggest influences, The Smiths and Modest Mouse. As much as they’ve alluded to these two acts in the past, they’ve never sounded exactly like them. Until this release.
Tracks like “Be Gone” and “Sink” are carbon copies of Modest Mouse. From incoherent shouting in between guitar squeals, and Lacey’s overall vocal approach, the two tracks might as well have been lifted from the Modest Mouse anthology. On every overtly-mellow section of Daisy, The Smiths’ influence on the track just bleeds right on through.
With Daisy, Brand New does not put in a terrible effort. It’s just not that good either. For a band that prides itself on being such perfectionists, the loss of their sense of melody, coupled with the completely unoriginal effort is too distracting to look past. They tried too hard, and ultimately, fell far short of all expectations.
— John Cassillo