Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (CD)

Brand New have a hell of a time surpassing their brilliant work on “Deja Entendu”. Will the band ultimately fail like so many other acts, or will their work build off of critical successes (much as in the way that Coheed & Cambria did with “Good Morning, Apollo”)? The band likes their long tracks on “The Devil and God”, with only 1/4ths of the band’s output being under four minutes (the average song length on this disc is four and a half minutes). The disc starts off with “Sowing Season”, which would be a dead ringer for a Nirvana track if the song came out in 1992 instead of 2006. The band moves back into a more “emo” style for the disc’s second track, “Millstone”.

In this track, it seems as if Brand New have blended equal parts late-era Blink 182 with The Cure. What is created is a very emotional track that has an odd, almost danceable background to it. The vocal opening to “Jesus” has a hint of Conor Oberst to it, even though the output of this track is much more clear than anything Bright Eyes created off of “Lifted”. There is a much more quiet type of energy that is dominant during “The Devil and God”. While there are times that Brand New return to “Guernica” (such as during the later parts of “Jesus”), the energy is much more organic instead of being a little forced at times. The instrumentation on songs like “Degausser” is also leaps and bounds ahead of what was present on “Deja Entendu”. Brand New has grown so much as a band; where their previous disc was a stellar example of what emo could strive to be, “The Devil and God’ has a much more diverse influence set that allows for a different Brand New to be shown.

“Degausser” also allows Brand New’s Cure influence back out, as there are times during this track that the song could easily be on “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”. Brand New and Coheed and Cambria are on a crash course to determine which band is the best post-emo act out on the market currently. While there might not be as immediately catchy of tracks on “The Devil and God”, the disc as a whole is much more solid than “Good Morning, Apollo”. Regardless of whether one is a fan of Brand New or not, make a concerted effort to pick up this album.

Top Tracks: Limousine, Jesus

Rating: 7.4/10

Brand New – The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me / 2006 Interscope / 12 Tracks / http://www.fightoffyourdemons.com / http://www.interscope.com / Reviewed 19 January 2007

[JMcQ]

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