Brand New spontaneously releases fifth album, 'Science Fiction'

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Brand New spontaneously releases fifth album, 'Science Fiction' by Dakota Palmer

Earlier this summer, alternative rock record label, Procrastinate! Music Traitors (PMT), removed all the items from their online store. On August 15, PMT started to take preorders for a “Brand New LP5 vinyl” and “relevant media,” which would be shipped in October, causing an uproar in the Brand New fandom.

The next day, various people received mysterious packages labeled out of 500, which included a 61-minute CD that people shortly realized was the sweet sound of Mr. Jesse Lacey. A mere hours later, the leaked rumored “LP5” was on YouTube, SoundCloud, and the like.

A few hours after that, PMT and Brand New tweeted links for fans to preorder their upcoming album, “Science Fiction.” But, instead of a true preorder, Brand New released the album via iTunes and download link. It was a wild 48 hours for Brand New fans.  

As it turns out, “Science Fiction” is a perfect brew of “Deja Entendu,” “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me,” and “Daisy.” The album is mysterious, yet open. Uneasy, yet comforting; all in a combination that only Brand New could make work.

Lyrically, many of the songs allude to older Brand New songs. For example, in “Can’t Get It Out,” Lacey sings, “Cause I don’t want to surrender/I’ll lose your face in a crowd,” which can be traced back to the song “Limousine,” in which Lacey sings, “I’ll never have to lose my baby in the crowd/I should be laughing right now.”

There are a few other lyrical allusions here and there, however, the most obvious tribute to a former Brand New song is heard at the end of “In the Water.” In the outro, we hear, “And we sing this morning, that wonderful and grand ol’ message…I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of it,” and before we can all scream the rest of the opening of “Daisy,” the original words are placed by a creepy recording saying, “seven years” repeatedly.  

While the lyrics allude to older songs, they also foreshadow the band’s alleged breaking up in 2018. In the intro to “Lit Me Up,” the first track, the last line before the song officially begins is, “I think I’m going to be relieved when it’s over/and I can sort of settle back down.” Is Lacey telling us he’s relieved? Is he telling us they’re officially over? Who knows.

In the chorus of “Waste,” Lacey sings, “This is the last one,” which almost seems too obvious to be a hint at the band’s ending. Producer Mike Sapone posted the album art for “Science Fiction” with the hashtag #thisisTheLastOne,” so is he quoting lyrics or getting at something? Again, we may never know.

In terms of musical style, the album seems to have some influence from both Alice in Chains and The Smiths (because as we all know, Lacey loves Morrisey).

“Lit Me Up” starts the album off and immediately immerses us into the post-apocalyptic and haunting vibes that BN is giving off. The chorus is simply, “It lit me up,” in a dark and spooky voice that can only come from the vocal chords of Lacey. The slow-tempo and minimal use of heavy instrumentals really creates an eerie song that is sure to lure you in for more. This song reminds me of Alice in Chains’ “Rooster,” in a weird way.

The second track, “Can’t Get It Out,” is one of the best instrumentally on the album. It’s got a simple bass line for the verses, but an effective use of palm mutes and distortion on the guitar. This song is the most “upbeat” on the album, which isn’t saying a lot considering the whole thing has a pretty depressing feeling to it, in an oddly comforting way. If you’re going to jam to anything on the album, it’s going to be this song.

“Same Logic/Teeth,” lies in the middle of the album, and while it isn’t the best song on the album, the end, “God damn, you look so lovely/but you sound, sound, sound so ugly,” is one of the greatest lines I’ve ever heard, and it’s screamed in an awesome and ferocious manner that will leave you feeling satisfied while screaming along.

My personal favorite from the album is “451.” This song packs a punch and has a very cool guitar riff and overall feel to it. The verses are reserved, while the chorus is loud and fiery, leaving Lacey and Vin Accardi’s vocals lingering with you long after the song is over. The song itself has a very bluesy vibe, creating a unique and distinguishing sound, one that is different from where the band has gone before.

My only criticism of the album is it lacks that one song. “Your Favorite Weapon” had “Seventy Times Seven;” “Deja Entendu” had “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t;” “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” had the bridge/end of “Luca;” and “Daisy” had “Sink.”

“Science Fiction” doesn’t have that one song that really stands out. They all blend together in a way that makes them all equal, in a sense, without the one song or one chorus that really takes precedence on the album.

Nonetheless, waiting seven years for an album paid off, because “Science Fiction” is a still a musical masterpiece.

You can find the album on Spotify, Apple Music, or buy the digital download on Procrastinate! Music Traitors' website.

Standout tracks: “Lit Me Up,” “Can’t Get It Out,” “Out of Mana,” “451”

Dakota Palmer is the News Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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