|Brand New — Science Fiction (August 17, 2017)|
Brand New — Science Fiction (August 17, 2017) •ς• Nové páté album Brand New stojí jako pomník jejich postupného vývoje. Je to moudrá a sofistikovaná konkluze pro rockgroup, která byla rozhodující pro utváření scény, zvuku a mnoha emocí. Jistě, někdo takové závěry může považovat za zranitelné, zavádějící. Ačkoli se jedná o opakující se témata z katalogu Brand New, na Science Fiction Jesse Lacey zní, jak se mu to nepovedlo nikdy předtím. CD verze přichází také s letákem obsahujícím citát z filmu 2001: A Space Odyssey. Album začíná rozhovorem pacienta se svým terapeutem, čímž zaviruje hluboké výklenky podvědomí posluchače. Brand New pracuje jako vždy s producentem Mike Saponem. Je otázkou, do jaké míry jim tento pátý člen vpíchl injekci svého myšlení. Občas však postrádá viscerální punč a hudební dobrodružství minulosti kapely. Dokonce i na jejich nejvíce přístupných albech značka Brand New byla vždycky idiosynkrativní. Nejzajímavější hudební moment se vyskytuje v intersticiálních (vsunutých) okamžicích alba, zatímco dobře opotřebované rockové tropy jsou spíše liberálně rozvinuté, než subvertované, jaksi rozvratné. Píseň “Could Never Be Heaven” používá renesanční riff (Vincent Accardi), připomínající akustické interludie Black Sabbath (Tony Iommi). Připomeňme si minulé počiny: Deja Entendu (2003, Noah Sutcliffe dal známku 6.9), The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006, Ian Cohen dává 8.5) Navíc, skladba “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” (Accardi, Lacey) z alba Deja Entendu se umístila jako #37 na Billboard’s Alternative chart). Daisy (2009). Ale osm let trvající fanouškovská nadrženost dala novému albu mýtický status, který byl typicky udělen někomu, kdo zemřel nebo zmizel. Album si pozornost udrží, aniž by nabídlo emocionální výplatu, kterou jsme očekávali. Pokud je někde napsáno, že je to emo Abbey Road, nemohu s tím souhlasit ani na jeden nádech≈výdech. Laceyho poslední slova jsou rezignační, takže si někdo řekne: dobrý den, smutku. Toto album by se mohlo velmi dobře chápat jako rozlučkový pozdrav. Není to poetické? Ale fanoušci by měli být spokojeni s tím, že navzdory tomu, že se často cítili být mimo výseč kontroly nad uvažováním Brand New, nelze bandu upřít, že kvartet z Long Islandu byl schopen vyjít ven svým vlastním způsobem: hrdě a účinně. Toto dílo ctí nejen je samotné jako lidi a hudebníky, ale jejich kariéru jako celek.
•ς• Co činí ze Science Fiction fantastický úspěch, je možné připočíst rozmanitým kořenům kapely, které lze během celé stopáže, tedy dobrodružství, snadno vnímat a rozpoznat. Jsou zde jisté stopy hudebně dotovaných melodií Deja Entendu, současně přináší doklady vtipné, pop~rockové estetika alba The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. Pokud je to opravdu konec pro Brand New, Science Fiction ukazuje cestu všem ostatním. Nejvíce překvapivá věc o albu však je, že tato parta to dělá bez námahy.Location: Long Island, New York, U.S.
Album release: August 17, 2017
Record Label: Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post~Hardcore
01. Lit Me Up 6:17
02. Can’t Get It Out 3:43
03. Waste 4:36
04. Same Logic/Teeth 5:34
05. Could Never Be Heaven 3:16
06. 137 5:02
07. Out of Mana 5:15
08. In the Water 6:52
09. Desert 3:37
10. No Control 3:55
11. 451 4:53
12. Batter Up 8:28
Producer: Mike Sapone
Essential Tracks: “Could Never Be Heaven”, “Can’t Get It Out”, “Batter Up”, “Same Logic/Teeth”, and “Lit Me Up”
•ς• Vincent Accardi — lead guitar, backing vocals (2000~present)
•ς• Jesse Lacey — lead vocals, rhythm guitar (2000~present)
•ς• Brian Lane — drums, percussion (2000~present)
•ς• Garrett Tierney — bass guitar, backing vocals (2000~present)
•ς• Benjamin Homola — percussion, drums (2007~present)
•ς• This is the OFFICIALLY distributed download version. Limited Edition /500 mailed to randomly selected fans. It contains the entire album as a single 61 minute track.
•ς• The cover is based around a photograph by Swedish artist Thobias Fäldt. The photograph features two women, Malin and Emma, seemingly jumping from a window. The packaging for the release has been created by Brooklyn based studio Morning Breath, Inc., who also worked on the artwork for Daisy and “Mene”.
Note: The initial track listing was one long track entitled “44.5902N104.7146W”, which are the approximate coordinates for Devils Tower.
•ς• New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ) #10
By Ian Cohen, AUGUST 23 2017 / Score: 8.3
•ς• Brand New’s fifth album stands as a monument to their gradual evolution. It is a wise and vulnerable conclusion for a rock band who were crucial in shaping a scene, a sound, and many emotions.
•ς• The eight years of psychotic speculation ahead of Brand New’s forever~delayed “LP5” did more for the band’s legacy than topping Deja Entendu or The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me ever could. This fan fervor lent the album a mythical status typically granted to someone who died or disappeared. Objectively, it’s been 14 years since “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” peaked at No. 37 on Billboard’s Alternative chart, eight since Daisy, their most recent and least loved studio album, and they’ve toured both clubs and festivals regularly in the time since. The excitement surrounding Science Fiction now that it has arrived is faintly tempered by the thudding finality of it all: “#thisIsTheLastOne” and the “Brand New 2000 — 2018” t~shirts are a statement of fact. But to put it in his own words, “LP5” was a millstone around Jesse Lacey’s neck. Science Fiction turns it into a monument.
•ς• As they’ve done throughout their two decades, Brand New defy expectations to a degree that can make even their most beloved past work feel short~sighted. If the streamlined pop~punk throwback singles “I Am a Nightmare” and “Mene” were eventually bundled into Science Fiction, it might’ve been the equivalent of that oft~fantasized Radiohead album where they returned to The Bends; a satisfying capitulation to fans who refused to evolve along with the band. Instead, from its opening invocation of burning witches, Science Fiction is most similar to A Moon Shaped Pool: We’ve never heard this band be this quiet or this gracious about aging. And it’s unnerving because an infamously inscrutable frontman drops his defenses and finally becomes vulnerable, like he knows this might very well be the last time he gets the chance.
•ς• Lacey’s long~lasting aversion to talking about himself and his music is completely at odds with the band’s most popular work — his logorrheic lyrics inspired thousands of LiveJournal status updates lost to the digital dustbin of history, only to be salvaged decades later at jam~packed Emo Nights across the country. Given that 2003’s Deja Entendu was essentially a concept record about Brand New’s conflict with modest fame, how much could we trust Science Fiction if Lacey hadn’t mentioned the rise in expectations during his transformation from Warped Tour pin~up to musical prophet? “Got my messiah impression, I think I got it nailed down,” Lacey sarcastically self~harmonizes during the one song that evokes Deja Entendu in both shout~along catharsis and Brand New meta~criticism. The real punchline, though, is the chorus: “I’ve got a positive message, sometimes I can’t get it out.” Sure, if we could all constantly radiate love for everyone and shrug off our demons, maybe Brand New wouldn’t need to exist. But Lacey was built to fight through all this to the bitter end.
•ς• Science Fiction doesn’t provide much joy beyond its mordant humor, but using the acidic feel of “old Brand New” as a counterpoint, it resonates longer, has more gravitas, and carries the weight of earned wisdom. The candlelit “Could Never Be Heaven” expresses Lacey’s desire to be a reliable family man in his 40s with as much intensity as he once summoned to smite exes and Taking Back Sunday. On The Dark Side of the Moon and Antarctica hybrid “In the Water,” he warns, “‘Hide your daughters,’ the old men say/You were young once before, you know how we get our way,” and as the guy who admitted to doing just that on Deja Entendu’s dark and regrettable song “Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis”, he should know. Likewise, centerpiece “Same Logic/Teeth” takes a stern but empathetic look at cyclical self~destruction: “Your friends are all imaginary/Your shrink stopped answering the phone/So you decide to make incisions at your home while you’re alone.”
•ς• While Science Fiction keeps the energy up with diamond~cut harmonies, howled hooks, and pithy quotables, it also blooms outward with new qualities: patience, long stretches of stillness, denial of easy answers, defiance. It’s bookended by two of Brand New’s lengthiest songs and certainly their most disquieting. Lacey dreams of bursting into flames through all of the nocturnal, dubbed~out opener “Lit Me Up,” yet never reaches above a mutter; he closes the album with the chilling guitar figures of “Batter Up” turning into white ash, like “Jesus Christ” given a Disintegration Loops treatment. They’re produced with astonishing clarity and detail by longtime “fifth member” Mike Sapone like controlled burns. The stately balladry of “Waste” is slowly subsumed by guitarist Vinnie Accardi’s molten feedback, “451” and “Desert” recall the aggressive, parched blues of PJ Harvey or Feist’s Pleasure. By emphasizing closely~mic’d drums, live~room dynamics, and gristly, 3~D grain, Science Fiction creates an unusual intimacy despite its sweeping expanse, ensuring the listener never feels too far removed from Brand New even if they’re being projected on a festival screen.
•ς• For all of Brand New’s ambitions, it’s hard to recall a popular rock band making an album this crafty, this finely decorated without jettisoning the attributes of rock music. Accardi has been a key architect in the defining and redefining of Brand New’s sound, and Science Fiction features his most inventive textures and his proggiest soloing, mandolins and banjos, but also stiffly strummed power chords, intimate acoustic picking, and arena~ready anthems. This is populist rock music — outsized alternative rock — and the scope and scale is unique enough in 2017 to forgive the inevitable moments where Lacey could’ve used an editor, namely the indelicate Nagasaki and Wizard of Oz metaphors on “137” and “Could Never Be Heaven.”
•ς• If Brand New sonically recall the mid~90s, when emotionally fraught and morally conflicted guitar bands ruled the airwaves, no wonder they released Science Fiction into the unsuspecting world as 500 one~track CDs. From its arresting cover art to its careful sequencing, it’s an album that impresses with its carefully considered wholeness. It rigs even the potential “singles” with unexpected segues, trap doors, false endings, found sound, lo~fi vignettes, tape loops, and lyrical Easter eggs that either reference their past work or can easily be manipulated into doing so. “In the Water” ends with the same incantation that began “Daisy” and splices in a manipulated voice that blurts “seven years” seven times — an off~kilter reference to “Seventy Times 7”? Or the count~off from “Limousine”? Why is it seven years when Daisy came out eight years ago?
•ς• For years, Brand New obsessed over Science Fiction and it should be treated in kind. It secures their place in 21st~century rock music by re~establishing why a lot of their acolytes became musicians themselves. Whether it’s Manchester Orchestra’s blockbuster dirges, Lil Peep’s sweet and sour emo~rap, Julien Baker’s ecclesiastical confessionals, the cleansing emotional purge of Sorority Noise’s You’re Not As _____ As You Think, the caustic nu~grunge of Citizen, or even their choices in opening acts (Modern Baseball, Cloakroom, (Sandy) Alex G, Foxing), popular guitar music in 2017 has been undeniably shaped by Brand New, a band who has served not just as damaged role models but as a formative musical influence. And this was all before they provided an example of what all these bands could aspire to sound like in their 40s without disowning their younger, more dramatic selves. In death, they provide a last will and testament — if this truly is the end for Brand New, Science Fiction points a way forward for everyone else. •ς• http://pitchfork.com/Review by SowingSeason. STAFF, August 22nd, 2017 | Score: 5/5
•ς• Review Summary: Never be heaven without you...
•ς• How do you qualify a band such as Brand New? As I sit here writing what must be my tenth version of this review, I find myself reflecting just as much upon their entire discography as I do their insanely hyped final album. After all, so much of what makes Science Fiction a resounding success can be credited to the band’s storied and diverse roots, which can be heard and recognized with ease throughout the entire experience. There are traces of Deja Entendu’s hook~endowed melodies for sure, as the witty, pop~rock aesthetic of ‘Can’t Get It Out’ can attest to. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’s dark, riff~bolstered ruminations wreak havoc across ‘137’ and ‘Out of Mana.’ Daisy’s coarse experimentalism is represented in the wiry, unpredictable approach of just about every interlude and outro. The assembly of these tremendous assets into one bona fide farewell is a goddamn emotional wrecking ball; a tidal wave too great for any longtime fan to overcome. Thus, I imagine that my approach to this review must possess semblances of Brand New’s own struggles when it came to writing Science Fiction: doubled~down pressure to fashion a high~quality product and this genuine sense of duty to be summative, perfect, and wholly representative of the band’s legacy. Brand New thankfully (and predictably) outperformed me on all fronts with Science Fiction — an album eight years in the making that somehow obliterates already unreasonably high expectations while forming one of the best and most anticipated curtain~calls in recent memory.
•ς• The fact that this is very likely the band’s final record weighs heavily on each aspect of Science Fiction’s existence. For the first time, Brand New chose to create something emblematic of their entire career rather than partaking in another stylistic revolution, collecting fractional glimpses of their past and weaving them together. The lyrics pay homage to moments from just about every single preceding album, with key references to ‘Luca’ (“At the bottom of the ocean fish won’t judge you by your faults”), ‘At The Bottom’ (“How did you get the gold without digging any holes?”), the Daisy title track (another eerie nod to the 1835 Charlotte Elliott hymn, Just As I Am), and even the title of their magnum opus (“I don’t mind having all this going on inside of me... I think I’m going to be relieved when it’s over”). While those represent but a few of the hidden gems on Science Fiction, they are illustrative of Jesse Lacey’s mindset while approaching the record. It’s very clearly a means to an end; a tribute that looks back, exhales, and then drops the mic. There’s so much going within the confines of Science Fiction that requires pre~existing knowledge and perspective , which I’d peg as the album’s primary flaw if it didn’t pay such huge dividends for their thousands of diehard followers.
•ς• Do you remember a few years back when Lacey said something about “being done” writing depressing material? Well naturally, Science Fiction is their bleakest album to date. The Devil and God was sadder, Daisy was angrier, but this is just downright creepy stuff. There’s a loosely tied theme running throughout the record’s background about a mental patient who endured four hundred hours of intensive therapy, and on the opening track Lacey sings about burning from the inside out “like a witch in a Puritan town.” If that doesn’t raise a few hairs, then the spine~chilling laughter that closes out ‘No Control’ — or perhaps the unnerving, repeated “seven years” on ‘In The Water’ — ought to rectify that. The overall tone is actually very much in line with where Brand New left off on Daisy; you know — burning forests, voices calling from under the Earth, hell fire and the like. The only difference is that they seem to be in the acceptance stage now, embracing their darkness like we’ve never seen before. In a battle originating eleven years ago, I’d surmise that the Devil has finally won.
•ς• There’s more to all of this than just sinister undertones and fan service, though. While the narrative is centered around this woman patient, there are clear parallels to both Lacey/Brand New and society as a whole. The “four hundred hours of intensive individual therapy” line that introduces ‘Lit Me Up’ (and the album as a whole) could easily be a direct metaphor for the amount of time it took the band to write, record, and produce Science Fiction. It certainly couldn’t have been an easy process for it to have taken eight years, and the emotional toll that comes with wrapping up their careers together may have been, to them, akin to therapy. This kind of speculation is further fueled by Lacey’s verse only a few stanzas down, when he laments “I want to put my hands to work until the work’s done…I want to open up my heart like the ocean.” ‘Waste’ again hearkens to this central motif, with the lines “If it’s breaking your heart, if nothing is fun…Don’t lose hope, my son, this is the last one” and “It’s going to feel so good to let it go…It’s all in your head, your race is run.” Allusions to Brand New’s demise aren’t necessarily unexpected, but the way that they are sewn into the record’s fabric while remaining consistent with decades~old symbolism in nothing short of breathtaking. With a perfectionist like Lacey at the helm, don’t think for a second that any of this isn’t deliberate, either. Brand New clearly took lengthy and painstaking measures to ensure that Science Fiction was the ultimate summative experience, and a befitting end for both their fans and themselves alike.
•ς• For a traditionally introspective band, Science Fiction broadens their thematic horizons perhaps more than any preceding release. When you consider the tongue~in~cheek self~deprecation of Deja Entendu, the torrent of religious and existential crises present on The Devil and God, or the unhinged emotional exhaustion of Daisy, there are topics here that reside well outside of the normal range. That isn’t to say that any of the aforementioned subjects don’t bear universal implications, but moments of Science Fiction feel very real and rooted in the present. The most obvious instance is ‘137’ — a song aptly named after the radioactive isotope Caesium~137, a component of nuclear fission that was never detected in Earth’s atmosphere until after the detonation of the first nuclear bombs during World War II. The song feels frighteningly relevant: “Let’s all go play Nagasaki, we can all get vaporized”. Here, Lacey seems to be lamenting the carelessness with which we boast and threaten nuclear warfare, an event that could effectively end humanity in one fell swoop (“Let’s all go and meet our maker, they don’t care whose side you’re on / Let’s all go play Nagasaki, what a lovely way to die / the final show where we all go, so no one has to say goodbye” ). The entire song builds to this epic, distorted riff that feels like a dreadful culmination of the previous taunts. The most comparable moment within Brand New’s catalog is ‘Limousine’, considering the gradual build to the prolonged guitar solo, but I’d liken it even more so to mewithoutYou’s ‘Rainbow Signs’ — a 2015 account of a nuclear apocalypse with similarly foreboding messages and religious undercurrents.
•ς• Like ‘137’, the late~album find ‘Desert’ sounds strikingly relevant from the perspective of a conservative, God~fearing man watching what he deems to be society falling apart around him. With high~pitched vocal callbacks and an insanely infectious chorus, Lacey prophesizes Biblical revelations (“ If I believe only half what I read, I got a reason to be dug in deep”), condemns homosexuality (“I seen those boys kissing boys with their mouth in the street…but I raised my son to be a righteous man, I made it clear to him what fear of God means”), and clings to his guns (“Last night I heard a voice that said, ‘Don't give up your gun’ / Those bleeding hearts come marching down my road, well I’ll be waiting right here at my door…If you’re joining them then I got one with your name on it”). It’s pretty apparent that the views are intentionally told from the perspective of someone who misunderstands Christian values though, and that Lacey is intentionally being ironic in the same way as when he sung “You’re beating with a book everyone that book tells you to love” on ‘Archers.’ The intertwined hot~button topics of today’s political climate feel right at home on a record where Brand New seems to be tying it all together — from their own emotional turmoil to the issues we all face for the conceivable future.
•ς• Even while diving deep into Science Fiction’s intricacies, it is impossible to touch on every quality that makes it yet another classic Brand New canon~entry. In fact, two of the absolute best songs in ‘Same Logic/Teeth’ and ‘451’ have yet to even surface in discussion, which is a testament to the record’s endowment of both quality music and lyrical complexity. The former represents the most balanced track, alternating between granular screams and gorgeous vocal harmonies, all atop acoustic picking that refuses to fade even during the track’s most intense, fiery verses. The latter, ‘451’, feels like the best song that they accidentally left off of Daisy. It’s replete with twangy electric guitars and a shout~along chorus that is impossible to forget within the same twenty~four hours it’s heard: “Last thread, dancing dead, one more time with feeling!” For a less intense but equally gratifying fix, ‘Can’t Get It Out’ serves as the lost Deja megahit, bursting forth with an earnest, pitiful plea of “I’m just a manic depressive, toting around my own crown / I’ve got a positive message, sometimes I can’t get it out.” Maybe that’s why we never got that promised “positive Brand New record” that Lacey was going on about. The mid~album gem ‘In The Water’ may be a top five track for the band, combining intricate and majestic guitar work with sprawlingly beautiful vocals and the most interesting yet unsettling outro they’ve ever written. All in all, Science Fiction is an embarrassment of riches boasting one spectacular verse or chorus followed by another all~too~fitting electric riff or philosophical gold nugget. Basically, it’s a Brand New album as they’ve come to be defined.
•ς• It will take both time and additional perspective to determine exactly where Science Fiction figures into the band’s crowded list of achievements. The most surprising thing about the album, however, is that it does — effortlessly. Entering 2017, we basically had an emotionally exhausted band that had already witnessed its peak, burnt down a metaphorical forest, and accumulated a rabid cult~following starving for closure. It’s not exactly a recipe for a storybook ending, as living up to such expectations would require a precise blend of innovation and fan service that so very few artists can ever achieve. Regardless of the odds, Science Fiction is a bold, legend~making statement well worth the eight year wait. If it ends up being their swan song, then we can rest assured that Brand New is going out on their own terms: in peak form, bearing no regrets. It’s a sentiment visited one last time, and most eloquently expressed, on the album’s stunning eight~minute adieu when Lacey sings “Give me your best shot. Batter up.” •ς• http://www.sputnikmusic.com/
BY MICHELLE GESLANI ON AUGUST 22, 2017, 6:00AM
•ς• Long Island rockers reinvent themselves while also maintaining their essence.
•ς• Your Favorite Weapon (2001)
•ς• Deja Entendu (2003)
•ς• The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006)
•ς• Daisy (2009)
•ς• Science Fiction (2017)
Notes: Forbidden Planet are excited to announce that the largest science fiction and cult entertainment MEGASTORE outside London is now open at 49 Grainger Street, Newcastle, NE1 5JE.
|Brand New — Science Fiction (August 17, 2017)|