Day 146 – #60. Brand New – Daisy

Brand New - Daisy Album Review

Earlier this year, I wrote about Brand New’s Deja Entendu. This is a passage that I wrote in reference to today’s record, Daisy:

I do not acknowledge (Your Favorite Weapon) as a release because I don’t care for pop punk. There are certain sects of Brand New’s fanbase that consider YFW to be their best work, but I think those people are foolish. Similarly, there are people who rag hard on Daisy. This outpouring of vehement negativity toward that album is totally unfounded. Daisy rules. Anybody who doesn’t like it needs to look at the discography from Deja Entendu on and see the logical progression.

Here’s the thing about Daisy: its primary complaint is that Jesse Lacey and company “forgot who they were.” The album has been called a “digression” and “unfocused.” Much has been made about the album being so thematically dark, with weak lyrics.

My problem with this analysis is that it’s based on expectations of the band. It’s dangerous as a music journalist, but especially as a fan to have these kind of pre-conceived notions going into a first time listen of an album.

I’ve written before that I’m a big proponent of the “Like what you want to like” mindset. I mean, really, who am I to be on the Internet and bash someone else’s hard work? It’s one thing to be observationally critical of a work, but some of the Daisy ridicule is downright nasty.

Brand New has always been a band steeped in some sort of mysterious air, one that is self-perpetuated. They purposefully withhold information to build the hype machine, and then, once the top has been spun, they pull back and let the Internet and their fans do the rest.

Therein lies the problem. When divisions of their fan base get a hold of new material and it isn’t good, it isn’t just “not good” – it’s garbage, and ‘desecrates their previous material.’ This kind of attitude is belittling and damaging for both the artist and listener.

That the so-called “keyboard warriors” have such a strong and imposing voice on the independent music community today is a complete travesty. If you don’t like the record, don’t listen to it. It’s that simple. You’re not winning anyone over to your side of things by ripping the band’s releases or the people listening to them.

That said: I stand by my original statement: Daisy rules. Yeah, there’s a couple of things to complain about, but on the whole, it’s a phenomenal release. “Vices” obliterates right out of the gate after an early 20th-century operatic recording. The track never lets up and sets the tone for the rest of the album with its hard stops and quick transitions from soft to loud.

At the Bottom” is a capable single, but where Daisy succeeds most is on tracks like all 6 minutes of “You Stole” (including that ridiculous bass line to close it – if I could make a treehouse out of that portion of the song and live inside of it forever, I would) and the heavy stuff: the aforementioned “Vices,” “Gasoline,” “Sink” and “Bought a Bride.” Further, “Be Gone” will remind listeners of an old southern spiritual with its old-timey guitar work.

This album is a blast, in spite of the naysayers’ vitriol and riff-raff*. But remember: make up your own mind about it.

From Brand New’s most controversial record, here’s “Sink” –

Standout tracks: “You Stole” and “Bought a Bride”
Weakest track: Probably “Bed.”

RIYL: Aggressive indie rock. Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, older mewithoutYou.


*finally got to use the word riff-raff this year; #success


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