Brand New Daisy

Brand New Daisy
Upon first listen, Brand New's fourth studio album, Daisy, is an extreme disappointment. Before hearing a note from the Long Island band, a shrill hymn called "On Life's Highway" plays, then turns violently into what is possibly Brand New's heaviest and most chaotic track to date. They have shed their stylistic storytelling, replaced with simple, vague themes encompassing darkness, God, fire and forests. The melodically picked guitar parts have shifted into folkier songs while shaking hands with concentrated bass lines and twang-y riffs. "At The Bottom," "Gasoline" and standout track "Bought A Bride" have a mature grasp on the harboured aggression found on Deja Entendu but lack the lucid guitars, distant vocal harmonies and ambience found on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. It's not catchy like Your Favourite Weapon, devoid of that raw ambition and youthful love. What it does do is boast another set of ominous lyrics, weaving imagery around hushed vocals that burst sporadically into hostile explosions. With every listen, the brilliance slowly sifts through. The softness of "Bed," conviction of "Noro" and energy of "Sink" excite but leave me dreaming of a time when the songs were layered and constructed like the Pyramids. The album ends just as mysteriously as it begins, closing with the end of the hymn, fading into hazy confusion, refusing to be anything other than what it is. It's not the Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me Part 2 but maybe I was wrong to have expected that. (Interscope)