Formed in 2001, Brand New had mad a huge mark in their music scene from the beginning. They started off as one of the many other pop punk bands in their area, but soon grew to be a respected and well-known band. They have released 3 LPs, with The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, being their most recent and major label debut. This album, probably being the most talked about Brand New release due to the fact that it had been about 3 years since their last release and people, including myself, were eager to hear how Brand New has matured and changed from their earlier days. As excited as I was to hear this album I was also scared that I would be disappointed because of the fact that Brand New basically vanished for a good amount of time. But I soon came to realize while listening to the album that I had no need to worry, what I heard was a very well thought-out and produced piece of music coming through my speakers.
"The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me" starts of with the song and also the band’s first single of this album: Sowing Season (Yeah)
. It starts off slow and soon rips into banging drums and riffs as the chorus starts off which lets you know exactly what you are in for while listening to the album. As Jesse Lacey sings his voice seems to echo leaving an almost haunting sound, but also powerful. Although this song lacks a “real” chorus the repetitive “yeah” really sticks and makes you really understand the message that Lacey is trying to get across is an important one. After listening to this track I was able to understand why it was chosen as the first single of this record.
After Sowing Season (Yeah)
there were a few more songs that definitely stayed with me long after listening to the record. Jesus Christ is the band’s second-single and a crowd favorite at their live shows. It’s a lot slower than the songs before it on the record, but it also has some of the best and contemplative lyrics. The drum beat is solid and the words are dragged out to emphasize their importance. This song is one of those songs that will completely “get under your skin” and make you think about what is going through the artist’s head and even your own life. Lacey even brings himself down to the listeners’ level and shows that we are all the same and live in the same world: “We all have wooden nails/ We sleep inside of this machine.” There is an outro on this song to show off how Brand New has also improved musically, not just lyrically, which is something that they try to portray on this album. They included two mainly instrumental tracks, Welcome To Bangkok
. This was a very smart move on their part because it shows that their musical ability shouldn’t be overpowered by the lyrics and separates them from many of the bands in their genre today.
Two other songs that stuck with me throughout this album were Degausser
and Limousine. Degausser
starts off with a slow first verse interrupted with screaming vocals saying “Take apart your head” that makes the listener feel like they are being challenged to think about their own life, almost like the song is speaking to them. The song is a tragic love story and really shows Lacey’s raw emotions through the pain in the echoing lyrics. Limousine
is a little different from many of the songs on this album; it is nearly eight minutes long and is probably one of the saddest songs written by Brand New. It’s based off a car crash that happened in Long Island in which a drunk driver hit a limousine carrying a family that had just recently celebrated their wedding. The driver of the limousine was killed, as was the seven year old flower girl from the wedding. It’s a very powerful song because it shows the grief the family felt from losing a loved one, especially one at such a young age on a night that should have been filled with joy and happiness from everyone. Even the repetition of the same line over and over again at the end of the song didn’t aggravate myself as I listened to it because I could feel the grief and longing that the family must’ve felt and that Lacey tried to interpret through this song. This song is also a great addition to this album because it shows that he band isn’t too caught up with their own heart breaks and self-pity as many other bands in their scene portray in their own music.
Although there are some downfalls in this album such as, repetitive lyrics and the songs do tend to sound like each other after a while, the good outweighs the bad. The lyrics are meaningful and contemplative, not just generic things that people want to hear and the instrumentals are spot on. This album definitely shows how well Brand New has matured from their original pop-punk days. Although The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me took about 3 years to finally be released and many of Brand New’s fans were left waiting to see what would come out of this long silence and if the record was really worth the wait, which it obviously was.
Name: "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me"
Release Date: November 21, 2006
My rating: 4.6 out of 5
Amanda Agueda is a staff writer at Musiqtone. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.