Brand New – Deja Entendu

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

Three years on from their debut album YOUR FAVOURITE WEAPON, Long Island’s Brand New are back with a new album and a dramatically new sound. DEJA ENTENDU has been produced by Steve Haigler (whose previous legendary clients include Quicksand and Pixies) and finds the band not only in fine voice, but exploring a sound that can only be described as huge.

The single THE QUIET THINGS THAT NO-ONE KNOWS hinted at what to expect from the full-length: thunderous guitars, driving low end and Jesse Lacey’s soaring vocals make for a heady, dynamic concoction, and the rest of the album more than matches this.

Their recent stint supporting Dashboard Confessional may have influenced the acoustic-led THE BOY WHO BLOCKED HIS OWN SHOT and the closing REM-sounding PLAY CRACK THE SKY, but the contrast provided by the likes of the heart-breaking GUERNICA (love that Joy Division bass!) and the anthemic SIC TRANSIT GLORIA…GLORY FADES, with its screamed refrain of ”Die Young And Save Yourself”, is truly explosive.

The thumping OKAY I BELIEVE YOU, BUT MY TOMMY GUN DON’T runs the gamut form REM to the Pixies, while I WILL PLAY MY GAME BENEATH THE SPIN LIGHT sounds like Robert Smith fronting Alkaline Trio. And the epic anti-music industry rant GOOD TO KNOW THAT IF EVER NEED ATTENTION ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DIE is nearly as long and twisted as its title.

DEJA ENTENDU manages to fuse punk, emo, grunge and post-rock elements into a cohesive whole, switching from acoustic passages to electric wig-outs with no loss of flow or mood. It’s not amazingly original, but it’s done with finesse, flair and evident passion.

A fine album and a huge leap forward.

5 stars