Throwback Thursday: Brand New

The early 2000s was a time that brought about the emergence of pop-punk bands, which held an influence so great that it can be seen in modern bands today. One of the most prominent of these pop-punk bands was Brand New, who are marked by their confessional lyrics and meticulous guitar solos, often at the beginning or the end of each song. Formed in 2000, the band is led by Jesse Lacey, has Vincent Accardi as lead guitarist, Garrett Tierney as bassist, and Brian Lane as the band’s drummer. Due to the distinct sound of the band that separated it from other pop-punk bands, Brand New arose notably in popularity throughout the 2000s and remain relevant today. While the sound of the band has significantly changed for the 17 years they have been together, the classic elements that make Brand New so distinguishable are still present. The band began gaining commercial success with their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon. This album featured simple melodies and repeated guitar sequences, along with a general theme that tells stories mainly of young love and heartbreak, something that was common in early pop-punk music. For instance, the song “The No Seatbelt Song” tells the story of a heartbroken lover who still harbours intense feelings for a lover gone wrong.

However, what made Brand New as well-known as it is today was their next two albums, Deja Entendu and The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me. Such albums move away from the more adolescent themes of their premier album, and touch upon more mature topics such as loss, depression, and addiction. While the albums do still contain mellow songs that profess feelings of love, these albums still contrast in sound due to increasingly advanced guitar solos, along with a more melancholy mood overall. Another thing that develops in these next albums is the telling of a full story through both the usage of elaborate lyrics and proper accompaniment to create the mood that fits with the story. This element can especially be seen in the song “Limousine,” which tells the story of a young child who died in a car accident. As my personal favorite song by the band, the song never fails to bring chills to me, a result of both Lacey’s heart-wrenching vocals and the intricate riffs present in the song.

Since these albums, Brand New has slowed down in activity, with only one more full album, Daisy, since the release of The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in 2006. However, last year, Brand New have released a single, “I Am a Nightmare,” and plan on releasing one final album in the near future before the band parts ways. The single features elements of both their newer albums and their older releases. While Lacey’s vocals have significantly matured from his earlier years, the song still has a theme of professing love to a female interest, something that was more prominent in Brand New’s earlier releases.

If you’re looking for a classic pop-punk band to listen to, Brand New is always a solid choice. Whether you’re looking for a catchy, upbeat pop-punk song or an emotionally evocative musical piece, Brand New can always satisfy. Upon listening to their songs, it will be nearly impossible not to be drawn into each story each song so beautifully tells.