With rumors flying that this may be Brand New's last record, Daisy, released on Sept. 22, is possibly the Long Island quintet's most anticipated album to date.
At first glance, the 11 tracks that make up Daisy are difficult to digest - it's loud and grungy, much more experimental than anything the band has released before. For many it may seem like homage to '90s grunge albums such as Nirvana's In Utero, but subsequent listens reveal otherwise.
The first track off the album, "Vices," begins with a woman singing along to an old-time piano piece, then erupts into the screams of front man Jesse Lacey accompanied by tumultuous guitars and booming drums.
The next two tracks, "Bed" and "At the Bottom," are somewhat less overpowering, and sound more classically Brand New. More chaotic songs such as "Gasoline" and "Sink," however, truly characterize Daisy as a rock album and show Brand New in their best light - as a true alternative rock band.
Thumping bass lines from Garrett Tierney and the exploding drums of Brian Lane accentuate Lacey's screaming vocals throughout the entirety of the album. The only problem with such oppressive instrumentals is difficulty in hearing the lyrics at points. This issue is only compounded by the fact that Brand New has failed to "officially" release lyrics with both Daisy and their previous album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.
Daisy keeps the listener engaged with random sound bites interjected into several tracks throughout the album. For example, a 1960s sermon starts off the title track "Daisy," which is then interrupted by a little boy vocalizing his fears. "In a Jar" begins as another quintessential Brand New track, albeit with some twang-y guitars, before a low fidelity recording of a choir gives way to Lacey's wailing.
"Be Gone" stands as the turning point in the album, a short song that could almost be classified as instrumental if not for the unintelligible chants layered over notes picked out by a southern, tinny-sounding acoustic guitar.
Although the best way to describe Daisy is somewhat chaotic, there is a certain cohesiveness surrounding the 11 tracks. Lyrics and instrumentals that seem experimental for Brand New give the band a depth that fans have yet to see.
The reason for this new dimension may be attributed to the fact that instead of Lacey writing the majority of the songs and music, they were the brainchild of guitarist Vincent Accardi. Although Accardi's spin may give a different tenor to Daisy, the writing is still classic Brand New - striking, heartfelt lyrics layered over captivating melodies.
The final track on the album is called "Noro." Lacey's initially quiet vocals are accompanied by pounding drums as well as a simple bass line and electric guitar progression, most likely provided by rhythm guitarist Derrick Sherman.
Eventually, chants of "I'm on my way to hell" are partnered with grainy vocals that sound like they originate from Accardi. "Noro" finishes the album and welcomes back the piano track and female vocals that began Daisy, leaving listeners wondering if the record has truly progressed at all.
Although Brand New manages to reinvent themselves through each of their albums, they have the ability to remain distinctly "Brand New-esque." Their newest release is a genuine testament to this fact.