Today is the first day of a new year, which is pretty awesome. Everything is sparkly and fresh and clean. How was your New Year’s Eve? I hope it was everything you wanted, and I hope this year is, too. I’m big on ritualism and specialness, and whatnot, so, I broke the 6000 mark today–a new music milestone for a new year. In the name of things being all ritualistic and special-like, the first post of the year shall be shiny. Namely, it’ll be a post about one of my favorite things on earth. (Note that I did not say “songs” or “bands”. That is not an accident and not because this post is about something other than music.)
So, I went skiing with my family last weekend, and it was pretty fantastic. We were there Thursday night through Sunday night, which mean three solid days of skiing–and the conditions were seriously perfect the first day and a half, until a storm hit and closed down the lodge. Luckily, everything was running again by Sunday, and we got some more skiing (and snowboarding, in the case of my brother) in, though this time with a loooot more powder. It was a really nice weekend–even though there was no internet at the rental. My parents’ friends have some cute kids that are energetic all hell, and since kids of a lift-up-above-your-head-and-spin-aroundable age love me, I wound up with a stack of kid drawings to take home. It was pretty cute.
So, where were we? Music. I decided on the song of the moment because when I was sitting in the ski lift with my dad on Saturday, watching the sky turn white, it was the first thing that came to mind. “The storm is coming.” That’s fucking right, there is a band that is such a part of my life and my mind that they’re the first thing I think of when it storms. If you know me even a little, at all, you already know that the band whose awesome I shall be basking in today is Brand New. I am going to try and keep the rambling as short as I can. This will be hard. I have seen this band six times. I know stupid amounts of too much about them.
Brand New have been my favorite band for like four years now, but I’ve been listening to them for something like eight. How I managed to get lucky enough to find this band when I knew fuck-all about music, I will never know, but I bought Deja Entendu when I was in 7th grade, and wore my copy of that CD out. My favorite tracks on it don’t play. However, today, we will be dealing with a song off the album after that, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, a third album that took three years to arrive.
The story is, in the wake of the scene-specific success brought on by Deja Entendu, and the onslaught of crazy-intense fans that came with, Jesse Lacey, lead-singer extraordinaire, was not, how shall we say, handling his shit. Combined with some deaths in the family and a bevy of stress-induced health problems, suddenlyfame kind of drove JTL (Jesse Thomas Lacey) off the rails. This resulted in the sizable gap between albums, which involved scrapping most of an album worth of demos largely because it was leaked (something JTL has expressed regret about), and various other such insanities. Once Devil and God was recorded, the video for the first single languished and eventually went the way of the demos. The list of eccentric behaviors displayed by Mr. Lacey is quiiiite long and shall be saved for another day, but all that crazy was not without purpose; it resulted in a fucking fantastic album.
The Devil and God is not the easiest of listens–it took me quite a few listens to get past the overpowering sadness of the thing, but once I did…That is a good fucking album. It is layered as fuck which means it sounds extra amazing with nice headphones, and it is just all sorts of beautiful. The lyrics are great. The melodies are great. The guitar licks are…let’s go with beastly. Like all their albums, it is completely distinct from any of their others, but still true to whatever the fuck it is that makes Brand New. This album is epic. This album brightened up out of one of the worst years of my life.
The song I have selected for your enjoyment is a good representation of the album. It’s got a cool intro, memorable lyrics, fantastic instrumentals–sweet guitar licks, a cool bass line, and drums that hold it all together. It’s got slow, pretty bits and super intense explodey bits with wailing guitar and screamy vocals. In short, this song has everything you could want a song to have. It is called “Degausser” and I love it with my soul.
Take me, take me back to your bed
I love you so much that it hurts my head
I don’t mind you under my skin
I’ll let the bad parts in the bad parts in