Album Review: Brand New's adieu is best yet

By TONY MURILLO

For Inland 360

Celebrated emo band, Brand New, dropped its final album on digital platforms Aug, 17, with physical releases slated for Oct 20. Being a seminal group in the modern emo scene, fans have embraced these artists with open arms. Brand New approached melancholy with energy and life. Its previous effort, 2009’s “Daisy,” shook up listeners with its bluesy flavors and raw sound. Since then, the band has released only three singles and two leaked demo compilations. Those eight years produced something special.

The group announced this will be its final effort. It’s a logical conclusion to what’s been an unpredictable journey. The band’s most atmospheric project yet, “Science Fiction” takes listeners through the darkest places of songwriter and lead singer Jesse Lacey.

“Science Fiction” tones down the southern and abrasive sounds found on “Daisy,” but expands on some of its moodier elements. The opener, “Lit Me Up” is the one of the calmest songs the band has released.

A sampled therapy session starts the album, setting the tone for what’s to come. The samples reappear throughout the album, crafting a foreboding setting for songs to unravel. Brand New’s fifth album is the sonic equivalent of going on a rainy night drive alone, reflecting on your life and the world around you. Most of the project’s tracks are slower, opting for a darker tone.

Lacey and company push the envelope for what emo music can accomplish. The album is dripping with ominous acoustic guitars. The seven-minute epic, “In The Water,” uses organ and harmonica to great effect.

The album stays true to the band. Not all the screams are gone. Still rocking,“Science Fiction” maintains the emotional punch the group is known for. Lacey laces the project with poetic lyrics touching on serious issues. It still sounds like a Brand New record, but one in all new territory.

Brand New’s swan song impresses in every way, inviting listeners to take a chilling journey. One of 2017’s finest releases, “Science Fiction” is a must-listen.

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