REVIEW: Brand New release Science Fiction, their first album in 8 years

That’s right, you heard it correctly. Brand New just surprised us with a new record they call “Science Fiction”. They did so in a way that only Brand New can do and still be loved by their fans, by announcing pre-orders for an unnamed album and 3 days later releasing said album. However, the only place you are able to find it is on Procrastinate! Music Traitors website. With the vinyl and digital you automatically get the album as a digital download, but I’m unsure if the CD comes with the same perks. Everything is set to ship in October according to site, but things change so be sure to keep track on that if you do pick it up.

So, with a band like Brand New, some people love them and others just don’t understand the whole hype around them. I am the type that really enjoys all of their albums, although Daisy is probably the least familiar for me. Nonetheless I wanted to look at this album separate from those albums because it’s been 8 years since Daisy, members have had kids and married, and ultimately people’s taste in music changes with time. Lit Me Up starts off the record with an eery vibe to it, but it does take awhile to really pick up, around 2 minutes in fact. When it finally does, it really gives the classic sound but of course different. It never really gets too intense, which is something I wish they would’ve done more of. I can’t tell if it’s a synth or bass, but the line it repeats is probably one of my favorite aspects of this song.

Can’t Get Out Of It is probably the first true glimpse of classic their classic sound we get. Harmonies are always on par with this band, that is one thing they really know how to do. As well, the little guitar licks going on during the verses adds something to a rather simple progression on drums and bass. Bass tone was a big plus, it was thick without getting too muddy. Waste starts off with an acoustic guitar just as the previous song, but is very different from it. Personally I love all of the effects on guitar, and the sort of fuzz bass going on.

As the album progresses it definitely gets more experimental, at least for Brand New. 137 has one of the catchiest guitar/vocal melodies I’ve heard in awhile. Drums throughout the album aren’t super intricate, but there definitely is more extra tom work added. Towards the end there is a killer guitar solo, which definitely brings a hint of some of their older albums. Out Of Mana is the song after and has some more impressing sections. The chorus groove hard, and the melodies that they pull off is worth mentioning. They’ve all progressed as musicians and as people, this song definitely shows off how solid they are.

With all the good there is a lot of stuff added to songs that doesn’t really contribute, for instance the end of No Control doesn’t really add to the song. While the end of Out Of Mana is a great song by itself, it doesn’t fit too well with the rest of the song. Besides that, some of my favorite tracks towards the end were 451In The Water, and Desert. The final song Better Up is a great closer, although I think it being 8 minutes was a little drawn out. Besides that, I think each song contributes something to important to the album. Whether it’s the instrumentation or vocals, Brand New has progressed in a way that’s fresh but still contains hints of the old sound.

Fortunately, some people have posted streams of the album. I still suggest buying it though, as it is a great album.

http://www.procrastinatemusictraitors.com/

Author: Ben Schlotthauer

Born & Raised in Northern California
Attending Chico State for BA in Music Industry & Tech
Bassist of Chico Feet

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