Brand New - Daisy
Record Label: DGC/Interscope/Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Brand New has always maintained an elusive presence among their peers and fans. They’ve constantly shown unreliable behavior and are incessantly unpredictable, especially with every passing release being a drastic departure from its predecessor.
With 2006’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, the band seemed to capitalize on a more ethereal and, at the same time, aggressive approach to 2003’s cult classic and fan favorite, Deja Entendu. Without fail, Daisy is expectantly an even further removal from the band who once sang “Last Chance to Lose Your Keys,” but that’s not the real problem here.
With “Vices,” a shy lo-fi vinyl spin of an opera song that plays more like a practical joke bursts violently into an clusterfuck of distortion and the shrieks of Jesse Lacey, whose words are indiscernible. It’s confusing as to what is going on with this song. After the initial shock of “Vices” rubs off, we’re thrown into “Bed,” a beckon call for any and all Modest Mouse influences to come to life. This is the first of many awkward transitions on Daisy.
Many of the album’s more streamlined efforts (“Bed”) are where Brand New has a true grasp of direction and clarity. “You Stole” and “Noro,” two album cuts clocking in at over six minutes each, are true testaments to how much of a journey a single song could be.
Upon first listen, it seems almost too apparent that the group was unsure about the direction they actually wanted to take with Daisy. There is two-step shuffle between the inebriated nature of a song like “You Stole” and the sharp-tongued scolds of “Sink.” It seems as though years of touring with the likes of Colour Revolt, mewithoutYou and Manchester Orchestra resonated with the band. It’s as if they wanted to incorporate the styles of their peers, only turning the levels up to eleven. Likewise, they’ve also channeled every catalog cuts from Nirvana (“Bought a Bride”) and the Pixies (“Noro”), molding them into an imperfect and cluttered collection that provides a genre tiptoeing along the lines of grunge and even post-hardcore.
One of the album’s biggest distractions of is the fact that guitarist Vincent Accardi has taken the reigns as the primary songwriter, shoving Jesse Lacey in the back seat. His lyrical musings are an obvious contrast to those of Lacey, in the sense that Accardi doesn’t seem to know how to handle his bitterness as well and in turn, is a bit less accessible. This is not to say Accardi isn’t a penman, as “Gasoline” and “At The Bottom” are both album notables.
As a direct result of these misfires, Daisy is daunting and exhausting. The complexity and the overall split personality are its biggest flaws and downfalls. Brand New has always had a resiliency that is unparalleled by their peers, though. How’s this for a safe bet – their next venture will be as polarizing as their last three, and the fans will continue to follow suit.