Often times when a band makes the jump from indie label to a major label, there is something in the music that is lost. Perhaps it’s the pressure or the fact that the label itself is trying to make the band something else. That was not the case in 2006 when Brand New released their spectacular album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. This album offered more in the way of contributions from the other members of the band. The title of the album was inspired by a friend of singer/guitarist Jesse Lacey who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This album also contains no filler. Starting off the album is “Sowing Season” which captures a raw emotional feel from the band. There is a definitely a 90’s feel to this song. “Millstone” is a song that continues the same raw emotion and also has very catchy sing a long type of chorus. The second single released was “Jesus Christ” is a mellow and quaint song. “Degausser” is another song that cradles the quiet/loud structure. The vocals on this song are powerful and pure. “Limousine” is nice mid tempo jam that features a very cool guitar solo. “You Won’t Know” is a true highlight of the album. The riff is punching and heavy. The vocal melody is aggressive without losing the melodic nature. “Welcome To Bangkok” is a great middle of the album segue. “Not The Sun” has a bit of a pop vibe to it but doesn’t lose their integrity that Brand New is known for. “Luca” has a similar vibe to The Mars Volta. This song is one of my personal favorites that the band has ever come up with. “The Archers Bows Have Broken” carries a melody that is akin to The Cure, and continues on with a pop vibe but adds an element of shoe gaze and feedback to dirty it up. Closing out the album is “Handcuffs” a very solemn and moody song that sums up the album in a great way.
Brand New are a very underrated band and great songwriters. They have the ability to connect with their personal attributes and storytelling. Musically they took many parts of the 90’s and mixed them with a sort of post hardcore structure. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside me is one of the best albums to come out in the last 10 years.
By: Brian Lacy