Brand New – Daisy
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Record Label: Interscope/DGC/Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Brand New never sent you a lyric booklet for their 2006 release, The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New doesn’t write “hooky” songs like “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad” or “The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows” anymore, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New doesn’t like to talk to American press very often, if at all, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New gave their new songs short, vague titles instead of quirky, long-winded titles, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New named their new album Daisy, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New decided to place a fox in a forest on the cover, and that probably pisses you off.
Brand New doesn’t care.
You see, c-c-c-controversy always seems to pop its head into whatever Brand New is doing. Whether it’s the fact there are no lyrics included once again on Daisy, or that they didn’t play “70x7” at last night’s show, someone is going to be pissed. And they don’t care if you hate it, because Brand New is into this whole music gig for themselves.
While Brand New has evolved and grown with each release, nothing compares to the leap they’ve made with their fourth studio album. Daisy is, without a doubt, the most challenging and polarizing work of their career. From the very moment you hear opening track, “Vices,” which begins with a gentle hymnal that abruptly transitions into the pure chaos that is Jesse Lacey’s screams and Vincent Accardi’s spazzed out guitar, you know you’re in for a hell of a ride.
The opening track is just the first of many chaotic intrusions. “Gasoline," which follows the underwhelming “Bed” and grave first single, “At The Bottom,” sounds like it’s on fire. Lacey screeches throughout while the trio of guitarists (Accardi, Lacey, and Derrick Sherman) join forces with drummer Brian Lane to fuel the pace.
The dramatic “You Stole” will go down as one of the finer Brand New songs, as the rise and fall balance of the track showcases the brilliant work of bassist Garrett Tierney. The track also offers the lyrical nugget of “So if I’m a liar, and you’re a thief, at least we both know where the other one sleeps,” perhaps drawing comparisons to some of the work of the band's breakthrough album, Deja Entendu.
Ignoring the indecipherable weirdness of “Be Gone,” what follows may be one of the best sequences of songs you’ll hear in 2009. Tracks seven through eleven are the money beets, the ones you see by the roadside that make you say, “wow, I need this beet right now.” The aggressive “Sink” offers up some biting lyricism ("You wanna sink, so I’m gonna let you") and will be a crowd favorite this fall during their nationwide tour. The guitar work shines again on “Bought A Bride" while the title track is a haunting and emotionally heavy number, as it will impact you somewhat similar to “Limousine (MS Rebridge).”
The final two tracks, “In A Jar” and “Noro,” transition together in a way that makes the final nine and a half minutes of the album a massive closer that will evoke all your emotions. In fact, these two tracks work perfectly as a summary of Daisy. “In A Jar” will rock you to your core with its boiling chorus, while “Noro” comes across as Brand New’s swan song. Lacey has touched on the topic in recent interviews, and the closer does nothing to extinguish those flames, as Lacey howls, “I’m on my way out. Well, I’ve tried, God knows that I’ve tried.”
Daisy is also the band’s vaguest collection of lyrics to date. Accardi took on a bigger role in the songwriting this time around, but being the sly foxes they are, Brand New doesn’t list which songs Accardi or Lacey wrote. One thing is clear though: Daisy is not a happy record, as the record’s theme revolves around fire, loneliness, and religion, and the music mirrors these themes throughout.
Brand New has created a record that will leave you exhausted. You’ll be worn out by the jarring tempo changes, confounded by the vague topics, and abused by Lacey’s prominent yell. Producer Mike Sapone does his best to help Brand New reach its darkest point, and Daisy is auditory proof, as this is the Long Island quintet’s most difficult and distinguished album yet. Some will love it, some will hate it, most will be perplexed by it and will need many listens to digest it. But one thing is certain, this is a record that will shake you. And that will probably piss you off.