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Brand New - The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me

Brand New, The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Of Me

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

LONG Island alternative rockers Brand New have amassed a cult following since forming in 2001 that has seen them being hailed as one of modern rock’s richest talents.

In September 2006, for example, they sold out London’s Brixton Academy in one day without any advertising and reviews of the gig were subsequently glowing. Kerrang! proclaimed it as “astonishing”, while The Fly declared Brand New – who incidentally took their name from a Beastie Boys record of the same name – to be the “best band in the world”.

The foursome’s last album Deja Entendu is considered by many to be one of the decade’s breakthrough rock releases, while single The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows became a firm favourite with MTV2 and Kerrang TV and a regular staple with Radio 1 DJs Zane Lowe and Jo Whiley.

The follow-up Sic Transit Gloria was a massive underground hit. So now we come to the latest album and probably the most anticipated release of their career.

Intriguingly entitled The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me, the album kicks off with the mighty single Sowing Season (Yeah) that has already been turned into a ‘hottest record in the world right now’ by Mr Lowe.

It’s an epic slow-builder that effectively showcases the band’s ability to deliver moments of brooding intensity simultaneously with almighty explosions of grandeur the type of which Tenacious D would dearly love to be able to imitate.

It’s an incendiary opener that sets things up well for what follows. Millstone is a similarly intense slow-burner, wracked with regret (“I used to be such a burning example, I used to be so original”) and a simmering sense of fury. The vocal delivery is quite pulsating, while the guitars reverberate throughout the track impressively.

The melodic guitar intro of Jesus Christ is just as inspired before giving way to a mid-tempo offering that hints at the majesty of Pink Floyd. It provides fine evidence of the softer, more sensitive side of the band that’s equally as empowering – mixing sympathy and passion with equal aplomb.

There’s a hush-hush blues vibe akin to more recent Black Rebel Motorcycle Club during the opening two minutes of the epic Limousine, a seven-minute offering that drifts from a whisper to a fired-up frenzy of epic guitar riffs and wailed lyrics. It’s undoubtedly one of the most impressive tracks on the album and sure to be the one that gets the rock fans hailing them as geniuses.

Further highlights include the sparkling Not The Sun, which contains an edgy vocal style more reminiscent of Modest Mouse during its verses before delivering a chorus of maximum intensity, and, by way of contrast, the slow-burning Luca, which dwells in melancholy before catching the listener off guard with a fiery conclusion.

If there’s a criticism, it’s that a few too many of the tracks follow the same format – opening quietly and then becoming progressively more powerful – but it’s a classic approach that’s sure to pay rich dividends for fans of this kind of thing (whether it’s New Found Glory, Hundred Reasons or, most tellingly, My Chemical Romance).

In all other respects, this is a towering achievement that’s certain to win Brand New an even bigger following that should serve to make their February 2007 UK tour dates the hottest tickets in town. They probably won’t be a cult band for much longer…

Track listing:

  1. Sowing Season (Yeah)
  2. Millstone
  3. Jesus Christ
  4. Degausser
  5. Limousine
  6. You Won’t Know
  7. Welcome To Bangkok
  8. Not The Sun
  9. Luca
  10. Untitled
  11. Archers
  12. Handcuffs

UK Bonus Track
  1. Luca [Reprisal Version]

  1. Good review, most people don’t know what they’re talking about.

    sean coleman    Dec 5    #