Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
Brand New: Hammersmith Apollo, London; Tuesday, February 13
Same band, brand new tracks. If only all rebirths could work this well
Eventually, though, our patience is rewarded. After throwing themselves into the brilliant ‘Sowing Season’, they play 20 minutes straight of the most amazingly thrilling, unique, beautiful, challenging rock’n’roll NME has ever seen.
Indeed, they’re barely recognisable from the band who went before, and this sudden collision of strut and sorrow and endearingly bleak vulnerability paints a band akin to what we always hoped emo would sound like. ‘Jesus Christ’ follows, an enchanting dose of what happens when pounding hearts and guitars collide, punctuated by the closing opus of ‘You Won’t Know’, a song that sounds like Jane’s Addiction communicating directly with God via the medium of electric humbucker. NME’s mind is blown, and – after the aching muscles and clock-watching of the early passages – it serves to underline that Brand New are a band reborn. As Jesse Lacey drops to his knees in a pedal-twiddling frenzy, we feel like joining him to thank some pagan god that this band are among us. If only they would let go of the past.
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