Brand New – Deja Entendu (CD)

My experience with Brand New began with listening to “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades”. Hether the triple-harmony and odd time signatures really begin to make the band for me. While I was worried about what I had already heard about the band, Brand New begins Deja Entendu screaming, rocking,andwith an amalgamation of styles that would make Blink 182, The All-American Rejects, Wakefield, and The Ataris jealous. “I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light” begins with an acoustic guitar line (think the Eagles’ “Hotel California), quickly moving to an after-hours sound, making for a song that seems more suited for the end of the disc rather than being in the first forth of the CD. The sense of hopelessness during IWPMGBTSL is retracted for “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”, a track that takes place before the break-up in “I Will Play”.

“Okay I Believe” has a much more crunchy sound to it than the prior tracks, possibly to aid the Weezer-esque chorus The video single, “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows”, is as sharp and stunning even without the very-striking music video for the track (which has Jesse fading in and out, with and without bruises, being in an accident with a love interest). Moving from the emotional opus that is “The Quiet Things”, “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot” is a deadpan reaction and a reductio ad absurdum to a split-up or spat between the two lovers. However, the minimalist approach so soon after the aural orgasm that is “The Quiet Things” strikes me as a weaker song, even though it is a much more poignantly written track. “Jaws Theme Swimming” takes the strongest pieces from both of its parents, “The Boy Who” and “The Quiet Things”. “Jaws Theme Swimming” is another slow-themed song, only taking up the mantle of screamo-punk during the chorus.

“Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis” never gets started; the minimalist style that Brand New loves to flirt with does the equivalent of standing up the Brand New, and the whispered-out vocals of Jessy cannot make up the discrepancy. “Guernica”, most likely the second single released off the disc, is the most personal and hard-hitting : like “The Quiet Things”, the intensity of the fast-riding chorus and the lyrics (including ”My Lungs are fresh and yours to keep, kept clean and they will let you breathe”) make this a track that captures both sincerity and a catchy sound.

Top Tracks : The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows, Guernica-, Good to Know That if I Ever Need Attention All I Have to Do is Die

Rating : 8.2/10

Brand New – Deja Entendu / 2003 Triple Crown Records / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 29 July 2003 / Released 20 June 2003

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