And no matter what happens to me in my life, the band I have returned to over the past 5 years has been Brand New.
Their ultimate masterpiece is the record "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me" (2006), a study in both concept and brilliance. The standout tracks are the Holy Trinity of the album: "Jesus Christ", "Degausser", and "You Won't Know." While all the tracks stand alone on their own merit, there is something so subversive about the way the album works as a concept. It is a record both beautiful and devastating. It is the kind of music that evokes cigarettes and cold temperatures, reckless decisions and hollow nights. Interestingly, the more I listen to this album, the more I get out of the music. Three years later, I have seemingly just discovered my intense connection to the song "Millstone" which speaks to the desperation you feel when you have nothing left to lose and nothing left to look forward to. When you look in the mirror and you don't recognize your own face. And for a four minute song, it is epic.
I wouldn't overlook "Deja Entendu" (2003) either as it contains some of my favorite Brand New songs - "Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis" and "Jaws Theme Swimming". While the album isn't as cohesive as "The Devil And God...", the song "Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis" is sparse, dark, and evocative. The coda is absolutely incredible after the steady, quiet guitar throughout the song, which puts the focus onto the lyrics.
There is absolutely no band in this world like Brand New, who transcend the mere label of "emo" with the lightening in a bottle combination of lyrics, passion, and riffs. Each album is entirely different but the core of what makes the band unique is there.