By Ashley Gallagher
Science Fiction is the fifth and likely final album by the 2000’s demo band Brand New. The album peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts even though there are no physical copies yet.
Science Fiction opens with “Lit Me Up,” which is the first single of this new album. It starts with prerecorded words over haunting music, almost as if it were an ode to their previous album, Daisy. This acts as a theme for the whole album, bringing it together and forming a loose science fiction-like concept and creates a new atmosphere on the album that has never been seen on their previous work. “Can’t Get Out” is an upbeat song, but with strong themes of depression shown blatantly in the lyrics. “Could Never Be Heaven” is easily one of my favorites on the album due to the eerie acoustic riffs weaved into it.
The band relies heavily on the use of acoustic guitars and Jesse Lacey’s signature lyrical abilities, but beyond that, it is the use of elements from their previous album that really bring it all together to help develop a more unique sound. It is most clear on “Same Logic/Teeth.” The song starts with a soft acoustic guitar, like what you’d see on Deja Entendu, but the melody and lyrics are very much like Daisy. As the song progresses, there are hints of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me with the use of very deep backing vocals, but when the bridge comes in, there is a feeling of Your Favorite Weapon because of the strong buildup and screaming-like qualities. Each song on the album has a similar progression to combine each of their albums into a single work without it being too overwhelming and giving Science Fiction its own identity, as seen clearly on “Out of Mana” and “No Control.” To close the album, the band throws in “Batter Up,” a sad song touching on the band’s breakup.
If you aren’t a Brand New fan or have never heard their other albums, it makes it even harder to appreciate the genius behind the lyrics, the instruments and the concept itself because it sounds really bland and blends together. Although very melodic, the album has a weird vibe to it that you have to get use to before fully appreciating it, which makes a lot of people disinterested in it. You almost have to be in the mood to listen to the album; most people cannot just turn it on whenever they feel like it. With that being said, there is a nostalgic quality that looms over the album without being too redundant, for every aspect of Brand New is represented. If this really is Brand New’s last album, it would be the perfect way to go out.