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A Look Into Brand New’s Latest Album ‘Science Fiction’

After a hefty eight years, Brand New has finally released their newest, and possibly last, album: Science Fiction. The follow-up to Daisy (2009) was released on Thursday, August 17th, 2017, and is currently available on multiple streaming platforms.

Below is a look into Brand New’s latest masterpiece, Science Fiction

1. LIT ME UP

The album begins with a recorded account of someone’s dream analysis, along with crescendoing static that eventually fades out into a consistent, dark beat, paired with a soft-sounding guitar to set the mood. Jesse Lacey’s groggy vocals gives the song a huge emotional feeling – one that you can almost feel yourself. The gloomy vibe of ‘Lit Me Up’ definitely reminds long-time fans of Brand New’s third album, ‘The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me’ (2006). Nevertheless, ‘Lit Me Up’ could be classified as something completely different, and almost ripe in terms of the band’s sound, and growth.

Lit me up and I burn from the inside out
Yeah, I burn like a witch in a Puritan town

2. CAN’T GET IT OUT

Unlike ‘Lit Me Up,’ ‘Can’t Get It Out’ has an almost ‘fun’ feel to it. The song almost resembles Brand New’s debut Pop-Punk album, Your Favorite Weapon (2001). The song commences with the sound of an upbeat, acoustic guitar, accompanied by a happy-sounding whistle, and a punching bass line, that gives the album an unexpected twist. But like every typical Brand New song, underneath this cheery façade, is a world of emotion.

I’m strumming with a heavy wrist
Were you one of the cured kids?

3. WASTE

‘Waste’ begins with a recording of a young woman’s scream, and, continues with the sound of an acoustic guitar, accompanied by a catchy, foot-tapping beat. Unlike ‘Can’t Get It Out,’ ‘Waste’ has a slower feel to it. The song includes typical Brand New elements, one being the implementation of static throughout the song.

I’m hoping that in time, you can lay down
All this weight you’ve been carrying around and maybe one day
You’ll find your way

4. COULD NEVER BE HEAVEN

The fourth song of Science Fiction, ‘Could Never Be Heaven,’ is yet another song with a melodious acoustic guitar. It is a very simple, melancholy song, that almost seems to be a buildup to something incredible.

I was drowning in the lake dammed
Over a dead mining town
The cars and the homes lay still in the water
The deeper I sank, the less I died
The trees swayed, slower the the tide

5. SAME LOGIC / TEETH

‘Same Logic / Teeth’ begins with acoustic guitar, but soon progresses into a mix of electric, and acoustic guitars, accompanied by a steady beat and bass line. The beginning of the song has almost the same feel as the last three, but quickly enough, the song twists and turns, taking long-time fans back to Brand New’s third and fourth albums, ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’, and ‘Daisy’ (2009), from Jesse Lacey’s clean vocals trailing into a massive uproar of screams. ‘Same Logic / Teeth’ explores themes of guilt, self-loathing, and toxic coping methods altogether. The song’s instrumentals and vocals reveal a hint of Modest Mouse influences as well.

Well I guess nothing can be perfect, so here’s a comforting thought
At the bottom of the ocean fish won’t judge you by your faults

6. 137

The vibe that ‘137’ displays is definitely one like ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’. The song references the nuclear attack of Nagasaki, by suggesting to solve problems by simply ‘vaporizing them,’ or making them disappear. The song generally explores themes of guilt, war, death, and religion all in one. The song is very mellow-sounding, with the entrancing sound of the guitars. The song also includes a recording of someone’s voice, something typical of Brand New’s ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me,’ and ‘Daisy.’

Let’s all go play Nagasaki
We can all get vaporised
Hold my hand, let’s turn to ash
I’ll see you on the other side

7. OUT OF MANA

‘Out of Mana’ starts off strongly, with loud guitars and drumming, and then subsides into quiet vocals, only to fluctuate between these volumes. ‘Out of Mana’ leads into a frantic guitar solo, and suddenly stops and burgles into wind chimes, that turned into a completely different song. Many fans have stated that the ending reminds them of ‘Play Crack the Sky,’ a song off of the Band’s second album ‘Deja Entendu’ (2003).

I want you to know
If you feel ready to go
I can read the rest to myself
Hell is digital

8. IN THE WATER

Musically, ‘In the Water’ has a huge, obvious connection to ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me,’ with it’s distorted guitar work and vocals, but it almost seems like Brand New was influenced by the work of bands from the 60s, and 70s. The song has a psychedelic feel to it, with Brand New’s typical twist. The song also includes multiple, eerie flashbacks. Near the end, is a recording of a man saying, “And we sing this morning, that wonderful and grand old message. I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of it. Number…[Seven years],” which is coincidentally, also the intro to ‘Daisy,’ off of the band’s album ‘Daisy,’ except, “Number 99, just as I am,” is interrupted by, “Seven years.” It is inferred that ‘seven years’ is also a flashback to ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’s’ song ‘Limousine,’ about a young girl named Kate, who was killed by a drunk driver at the age of seven.

In the water, they saw the face
Of the man who was haunted, chained and disgraced
In the water, they asked them both
“How did you get the gold without digging any holes?”

9. DESERT

The guitar work in ‘Desert’ is amazing, and different from anything Brand New has ever done. The song is extremely catchy, with upbeat background vocals as well. The song explores through the themes of bigotry, hate, and christianity.

I got my faith, I got my family
I got a wire fence around my whole stake
If I believe only half what I read
I got a reason to be dug in deep

10. NO CONTROL

‘No Control’ is another typical ‘happy-sounding’ Brand New song with an array of emotions behind it. The song is about time, and how we, as human beings, have no control over the passing of time.

Holding the mic to this pillar of salt
She won’t see anything at all

11. 451

‘451’ has an almost “snazzy” sound to it. It’s funky, upbeat, and fun to follow along. ‘451’ almost sounds like nothing that Brand New has ever released, yet seems to be something you could hear on ‘Daisy.’ In general, ‘451’ can be considered a wild song, with a great instrumental bridge.

A million suns won’t fill you up
If you can’t see the wine flowing over your cup

12. BATTER UP

The last track on Brand New’s Science Fiction, ‘Batter Up,’ is as calming as a lullaby with it’s smooth, hypnotizing guitar work and melodious vocals. The instrumentals and vocals combine enticingly to create the perfect, ambient ending to the song.

It’s never going to stop
Batter up
Give me your best shot
Batter up

 

Overall, Science Fiction is an enticing, melodious album. The band’s latest album is a huge mixture of everything they created, but it’s not all too obvious – Brand New is extremely good at making their music sound completely different, yet leave a nostalgic feel to it, where you can make as many connections between albums as you like.

You can purchase the album here.

Image result for brand new

 

 

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Written By

Liss Castillo is a 18 year-old high school student living in Miami, Florida. She spends her free time researching and writing about art, art history, music, literature, the people behind it, and how these things influence each other. Liss enjoys meeting, and shedding light on the work of local artists and strives to bring attention to artists who are resistant to silence, and call people to action with their art in order to create a better, and more tolerant world for the future.

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