Review: Brand New drops eerie, masterful new album 'Science Fiction' after 8 year wait

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Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey performs at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. - Long Island rockers Brand New cloaked the release of their newest album, “Science Fiction,” in mystery before dropping a digital version Thursday.

On Tuesday, a tweet from the band advertised a fall tour, while a tweet that followed it included a link to order a vinyl record, dubbed LP5, that would ship in October. Afterwards, some fans who preordered the album received a disc that had a 60 minute-long song on it.

Reddit users began to decode the song and determine it was multiple songs before the band released the digital version of “Science Fiction.” Physical copies are slated to ship in the fall.

The album comes after an eight-year gap after the band dropped 2009’s “Daisy,” and the tour came as somewhat of a surprise after there was speculation the band may never tour again after last fall. The group played a series of shows where they played 2006’s “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me” in full in honor of the album’s 10-year anniversary.

So, what makes “Science Fiction” so special?

Pretty much everything about it.

The band has teased that 2018 would be the end for them as a group, so the album that came as a long overdue surprise could very well be the last Brand New album. And if it is, it’s a wonderful farewell.

The eerie 12-track album is essentially a combination of all of the band’s previous albums. There are numerous instances where the songs resemble tracks from past releases, specifically 2003’s “Deja Entendu,” “The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me” and 2009’s “Daisy;” it’s heavier and has a slower pace than “Deja” but isn’t as dark as “Daisy.”

One song, “In the Water,” ends the same way “Daisy’s” title track started. While other songs may not resemble older works so obviously, the album is Brand New material without a doubt.

“Science Fiction” mixes melodic vocals and layered instrumentals in a way that creates a supernatural vibe. The album is moody and produces an atmosphere that is deep and suffocating – in a good way.

From the start and throughout, specific moments add to the piece that, overall, is cinematic; the songs flawlessly move from one to the next while maintaining an air of mystery and creating a mood that isn’t necessarily completely dark, but isn’t happy, either.

Specific moments include the opening of the album when a strange dream is described in “Lit Me Up,” and the ending of “451.”

It’s classic Brand New, yes, but it pulls influences from other eras before the group got their start, evident quite often.

Multiple guitar riffs throughout the album sound straight out of songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, adding a new dynamic to the feel of the tracks.

The album would be a masterpiece with the instrumentals standing alone. The lyrics, though, make it a musical powerhouse.

As the album originally appeared as one long track, experiencing “Science Fiction” that way is perhaps the best way to be fully immersed in the music.

Purchase the album here.

Full tracklist:

  1. Lit Me Up 
  2. Can't Get It Out 
  3. Waste 
  4. Same Logic/Teeth 
  5. Could Never Be Heaven 
  6. 137 
  7. Out of Mana 
  8. In the Water 
  9. Desert 
  10. No Control 
  11. 451 
  12. Batter Up

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