Brand New's latest album, Science Fiction, is a testament to their dynamic sound and the patience of meticulous production and self-determination to break through their old standards and emerge on top of their game.
Being a Brand New fan has never been easy. From their early beginnings, they were Warped Tour mainstays that made it clear they were on a mission to self-destruct. As time progressed, they transformed their sound from Hot Topic ready pop-punk (Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu) to the noisier side of indie rock.
On top of their own self-loathing aesthetic, their time between albums has been grueling for fans. In the time since their last LP, Daisy, LCD Soundsystem released This Is Happening, played a farewell show at Madison Square Garden, broke-up, got back together, headlined major festivals, and are now less than two weeks away from dropping their reunion record. Meanwhile, Brand New never ceased to exist. They toured an album in full, officially released their "leaked demoes" and put out a pair of singles.
After building anticipation on the scales of Radiohead and Tool fandom, Brand New has finally released their fifth (and possibly last) album, Science Fiction. Staying more in-line with their later releases, Science Fiction takes on Lacey's later day admiration of Dinosaur Jr and the Jesus Lizard and combines some Nevermind and Superunknown levels of epic swells for their most mature and polished record to date. Early stand-out "Can't Get It Out" is perhaps the most clear example of their ability to take their sound and roll it up into fiery, blown-out chorus that could actually result in decent air-time (if that's still a thing) or at least can be recognized as a triumphant foray into a more mainstream world. It follows a clear blueprint of how a rock song can expand and contract without losing energy or focus and lyrics that are still fitting for an old AIM away message.
For nearly their entire career, it's been easy to chalk up Brand New as a best of their peers band that somehow broke from their pop-punk past and pushed into the indie world where they still were given a side-eye glare. In reality, they've probably inspire more people to dig into the discography of Modest Mouse and Built to Spill over Taking Back Sunday. With Science Fiction, those who scoffed can now expose themselves to a band that turned on so many fans to bands they now love and finally start to appreciate Brand New.