Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
by Ian Cruz
A few years ago, one of the greatest albums to hit the emo rock world of music was released as Deja Entendu thanks to a few guys from Long Island who called themselves Brand New. They had the sound of some regular pop rock kids with their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon, which won the hearts of many teenaged kids who had no place in the hearts of their peers. But, what with their sophomore release, Deja Entendu, Brand New matured a lot and brought a new sound for themselves that fans adored. It was more relaxed, but more rock than its predecessor.
Now, after three years, Brand New is back with the most anticipated album of 2005 and 2006. Hell, we’ve been waiting for this record for a long time – we thought we’d have our angst y hands on it in late ‘04 after a front page story on Alternative Press‘ most anticipated for ‘05 issue.
To say Brand New hasn’t changed since their last album is one of the biggest lies ever told. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is another large step for the band musically. It’s more sinister and full of thought than the last two records, and has more of a rock-driven feel to it. “Sowing Season”, also known as “Untitled 8 (Yeah)” on the New Album Demos, brings us into the album with muted guitar and Jesse Lacey’s soft vocals singing “Was losing all my friends / Was losing them to drinking and to driving / Was losing all my friends / But I got them back.” Almost obvious about this song is that Jesse Lacey (vocals/guitar) has gone through a lot of change and hurt since the last time we heard any music from them.
“Degausser”, also known as “Take Apart Your Head”, is another strong song on the album that puts itself out there in clear view. It’s fast, mellow and has this great vibe to it when you just sit back comfortably and listen – especially when you’re under the influence. Some of the songs on the album are only 4-5 minutes in length, but for a seven minute and forty-two second song, “Limousine” makes it’s deepest mark playing the role of the slow-acoustic based song that let’s the plot of itself thicken with a full band break into chorus only a minute and forty-five seconds in. The Devil and God begins to pick up the tempo and beats with “Not the Sun”, which has an introduction that resembles The Smiths. “Luca” is the albums cherry. It’s sweet, red and delicious. If popped, glorious juice will spill from it’s insides and not to mention a soft chorus that is interrupted by the noisiest chorus on the record. It even caused some people to swerve off the road it scared them so bad. The last song of the album, “Handcuffs”, is not really The Devil and God’s “Play Crack the Sky”/”Soco Amaretto Lime” (which I was hoping it would be). Jesse’s acoustic guitar playing and soft voice, has a polarizing feel to it and takes you away. Before you know it, the song is almost over. With Jesse’s last words “It’s hard to be the better man / When you’re still lying”, the album ends.
Brand New has grown up, and done so nicely. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is definitely worth a listen.