Brand New 'The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me'
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Brand New have specialized in pain ever since the pop-punk emo-rage of their 2001 debut release Your Favorite Weapon. But they've outdone themselves on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. If the songs on Weapon were paper cuts, the ones here are gaping chainsaw wounds, full of seismic, howling agony. The moody rumbles of 2003's Deja Entendu were pointing here, but this is something else, with Mogwai-level dynamic range and tracks that careen from introspection to fury and back again. Lyrically, lead singer Jesse Lacey's words remain excruciating and harrowing things, but that's nothing new. It's the music propping them up which gives this effort such depth and punch. "Degausser" starts so innocently, then uses a bridge augmented with a bitter children's chorus straight out of The Wall as a lead in to Lacey's bitter refrain of "I'll never say anything right." Then there's the nearly 8-minute "Limousine (MS Rebridge)," epic, and epically sad, constantly threatening to descend into pure cacophony (and eventually succeeding). Repeated listens will tune your ear to the band's still-intact pop sense (especially on "Not the Sun" and "The Archers Bows Have Broken"), which keeps the record lively and unpredictable, and away from becoming a depressing, head-in-the-oven mope. Brand New went through three years of intense recording sessions to make it happen, but it was worth the effort.
1. Sowing Season
5. Limousine (MS Rebridge)
6. You Won't Know
7. Welcome To Bangkok
8. Not The Sun
11. The Archers Bows Have Broken