For Fans Of
There’s a stigma that surrounds any album, but particularly the fourth. By the time you’re making your fourth album you’ve obviously successfully established yourself as a band, managed to attract a loyal fan base and some form of financial security, but what on earth is going to go on this album? Something different or something similar?
Brand New have clearly chosen to go with something different. So much so that fans of their last album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me may have trouble adjusting to the sound created on this one. Made up of softer, clearer (almost acoustic) tones combined with intermittent thrashing electric guitars, Daisy is a stark contrast to anything I had previously heard by Brand New, and from an unknowing perspective – I found it quite enjoyable.
But, as I said, don’t be fooled by opening track ‘Vices’. The crashing drums and At The Drive-In resembling guitar riffs are a mere temporary distraction from what the rest of the album has to offer. ‘Bed’ is a clear indicator of the sounds on the rest of the album as it introduces your ears to soft, whispery vocals, simple guitar chords and gentle drums. ‘Bed’ might be a good title for the track as it’s almost sleepy.
‘At The Bottom’ is Daisy’s very first single, and it’s a pleasure to hear brooding bass lines combined with louder, sharp vocals after the previous 3 minutes of boring quiet. The lyrics on this track are as innovative as ever (something song-writer and vocalist Jesse Lacey has always been able to do well) and it’s impossible to not like the catchy backing vocals. It’s impossible to not like this song at all.
Fourth track ‘Gasoline’ continues the trend of stripped back guitars but juxtaposes the sound with foggy and screechy vocals. A complete contrast to ‘Bed, ‘Gasoline’ is a chaotic three and a half minutes of experimental noise which kind of puts you off step for moment.
Then, ‘You Stole’ starts. What on earth just happened? The pandemonium heard in the previous track instantly disappears, and Lacey is back to softly singing lullaby lyrics over the top of deep bass reverb. The drastic changes in sound are so confusing that you don’t know whether to find solace in them or turn the album off.
Next track ‘Be Gone’ doesn’t exactly help with trying to find your aural footing, as Lacey’s vocals are put through some seriously incomprehensible effects while a country-inspired acoustic guitar is strumming in the background. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Bon Iver had met up with Trent Reznor and both of them had made music while inhaling amyl-nitrate.
‘Bought A Bride’ combines all themes seen in the last three tracks – simple drums, screeching vocals and naked acoustics in another three minute attack on your senses. Ninth track ‘Daisy’ channels the experimental sounds of Canadian two-piece CocoRosie as Lacey’s vocals get softer and are replaced with a child’s voice and recordings of birds and crickets before breaking back into full percussion and chorus.
‘Daisy’ as a whole is certainly interesting. It’s drastic, it’s dramatically different from track-to-track and it’s certainly not half-assed when it comes to lyrics and overall percussion. I’m not saying that all albums have to follow a pattern, but I am certainly saying that it does help if they have a sense of flow. Unfortunately, to me, this album seems to miss that by throwing in so much contrasting noise in so many different parts of the album – making it difficult to digest.
Brand New obviously tried to do something brand new, but flooded it with their previous trademark thrashing rock, making the whole album a little difficult to digest.
- At The Bottom
- You Stole
- Be Gone
- Bought A Bride
- In A Jar