Brand New - Jesus

Bruce Turnbull 31/05/2007

Rating: 5/5

One of my personal favourites to emerge from the emo scene, Brand New have literally coerced themselves through damaged egos and broken hearts to take their sound and flip it 360, transforming the shifty, punk-pop attitude of their first record, and the soft, acoustically pained musical melodrama of their sophomore effort “Deja Entendu” and pushing the envelope further, like a heartfelt letter they found difficult to compose. The first single from their third album “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me”, “Jesus” is a slow burning anthem similar to previous tracks, “Mix Tape” and “I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't”, following the formula, while stirring up the influences they have picked up during its inception.

The soulless, wounded vocals of song-writing mastermind Jesse Lacey pour sensitivity all over the grand, swirling pull of the music; capturing emotions like a net of discovery. As sad as it may be, the lyrics still have that acidic bite of pessimism that has always garnished Brand New's music; if anything, the band is more cynical in their output, and their music is becoming seriously dark as a result.

While most others in this genre tend to wallow in pity often undue or fabricated, one cannot dismiss the suffering behind Lacey's creations; each one a piece of his personal feelings and broken, shattered emotions. And it shines through. Truly, both “Jesus” and its melodic B-side “Millstone” are disheartening, leaving me despondent in the way only Cult of Luna have achieved in the past. With a heart wrenching solo, a wispy, velvet chorus and lines like Do you feel you're missing out/everything good is happening somewhere else, it looks like Radiohead are going to have to fight in order to reclaim the crown of miserable melodic rock. Kneel down and swear fealty, boys. Brand New have ploughed your demesne.