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Brand New / Appease

Brand New / Appease: live in Londonlive in London (2003)
Triple Crown Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: Paul Fowler
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Rock n' Roll is very much alive tonight. It's a living, breathing, raging being that's come to shake your core and show you exactly what it is to mean what you're singing. I'm pretty sure that if you cut tonight's headline band open they'd bleed the lyrics they write. That's how much this means to t.



Rock n' Roll is very much alive tonight. It's a living, breathing, raging being that's come to shake your core and show you exactly what it is to mean what you're singing. I'm pretty sure that if you cut tonight's headline band open they'd bleed the lyrics they write. That's how much this means to them.

Standing in line it is clear Brand New are slowly forming a formidable fan base in England. There are easily about 200 people in attendance, and for the Metro Club (a small venue barely capable of holding more than 300) that isn't bad at all. Also you have to keep in mind that Brand New are doing a string of shows other nights in the week supporting Finch that many people will be attending instead. The age group ranges from 15 to about 20, which is of course a fair reflection on the general age of fans of bands like Brand New. There's studded belts, offset caps, long hair and ill-fitting t-shirts. All the ingredients are there within this group of fans to tell you exactly what you're going to hear tonight: Heart-on-your-sleeve songs about painful break-ups. Predictable? Yes. But Brand New do it exceptionally well.

Support band Appease are a friendly enough bunch. It seems no one in attendance is familiar with the English, emo-pop quartet. Although there is nothing new and the band can only be described as looking awkward on stage, they play a relatively long set which is well received. The highlight of the set was 'Act Five, Scene Three' which is a driving, melodic song that should easily capture the hearts of today's market. Other songs were fairly similar and one could be forgiven for feeling they'd heard this one too many times before. Appease have a sound which is loaded with potential, but unfortunately they're recycling worn formulas, and however good they sound doing it, we're after a band that are pushing boundaries and trying new things.

Essentially, I should be saying a very similar thing about Brand New, however something about this New Jersey outfit sets them apart from other pop-punk/emo bands around. The poetically juvenile, honest lyrics from front man Jesse Lacey are easy to relate to and the band's perfect mix of melody and energy is definitely going to win over fans. It is not these qualities that really grab your attention however. It's the three-way vocal interchanges between the members of Brand New that really make you stand up and take notice.

Tonight the band is really on form. Bouncing from one side of the stage to the other, Brand New open with the excellent 'Jude Law And A Semester Abroad'. Soon The Metro Club's foundations are shaking and everyone in attendance is singing along. Following that with 'Failure By Design', 'Mix Tape' and 'Logan To Government Centre' went down very well with all those in attendance. The band then played a new song, dedicated to Jesse's dying grandfather. The song sounded excellent and really whets the appetite for their next release. The performance went from strength to strength with 'The No Seatbelt Song' tugging on our heart strings and 'The Shower Scene' allowing the moshers to really let go.

Had the band played in this vein all night it would have been a resounding success. I would have been reporting a great gig, which certainly did Brand New proud. Fortunately, it was not until the last two songs that we saw exactly why tonight's audience loves Brand New. 'SoCo Amaretto Lime' is a poignant, moving piece sung mostly by Lacey alone. A reflection on teenage years that hits home with all the might of a bulldozer crashing through your living room walls, the song certainly strikes a chord with every set of fixated eyes and gob smacked mouth that follow Lacey's every movement throughout the song. The line 'you're just jealous 'cause we're young and in love' is just about as beautiful as it gets tonight with all singing along and seeing into the mind of Brand New's charismatic singer.

Concluding the set was 'Seventy Times Seven'. A non-stop, pop-punk gem that is packed full of emotion. The energy in the crowd was immense as the band gave the song all they had to give, and then towards the end of the song, some more. The audience grabbed the microphone from Lacey and a mob of teenagers were soon rushing round it, shouting 'is that what you call a getaway? Just tell me what you got away with…' along with the band. Lacey soon gave up singing into a fellow band member's microphone and dived into the crowd. The energy in the venue stopped simmering and exploded. Fans rushed onto the stage in a moment that shall stay with me for quite a while I'm sure. The connection between the band and the audience was intense to say the very least, and as kids were forced off stage, still singing along to the song, the band somehow managed to finish off the song with more emotion and meaning than I have seen in my life.

Brand New were excellent tonight, clearly enjoying the small venue and intense audience just as much as the audience appreciated their emotionally draining set. Some may find Brand New cliché, some may feel they're 'trendy'… But if you were in attendance at this show, you'd know they mean every word they sing, and for me, that's enough.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 3, 2003)

Excuse me, but you are wrong. I know Brand New because Jesse Lacey is my lover. And they are from NEW YORK, not New Jersey. But I guess when you're in England, it could be easy to confuse the two. Ooops! Your mistake!

I love Brand New and they are the nicest guys EVER. So get it right next time, and be a repsonsible journalist. I am a journalist myself for a newspaper and I don't publish articles unless they are CORRECT.

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

Great review, one of the best I've read and with an English flavor!

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

Take bands like Brand New for what they're worth. At least they have better lyrics than the Starting Line and put on a fun live show.

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

Question for the person below me. You think Brand New is too "cookie cutter" but you like Taking Back Sunday quite possibly the most clean cut band around? TBS, terrible music. Brand New mediaocre music BUT theres a little more to the band than most people give them credit for.

Isayswhaaa,
-feedmynightmare on behalf of Aubrey McFate

Icapped2pac (April 9, 2003)

I agree with everybody else, this review is a really engaging read. Well done, man. You should be head editor for reviews on this site, some of them could really use it.

And for Brand New... I'm actually a pretty big fan of some bands in their subgenre (NFG, TBS), but these guys just feel too cookie-cutter for me. I bet they could very well rock ass live though. That's like Midtown. I thought the same of their records (OK, but kind of bland), but they were fuckin tight live. It doesn't make me want to punch them any less when I see the video for "Like A Movie", but what would?

FortyMinutesWest (April 9, 2003)

I don't like Brand New at all, but this review was indeed very well written.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Sorry, yeah I knew that, I don't know why I put New Jersey!

Thanks for complimenting the review, it's the first one I've ever written so it's cool.

- Paul

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Brand new are from long island, new york, not new jersey.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

I remember playing with these guys 3 years ago at a hotel outside of Buffalo. Their set is still the same.. But, I give every band a chance and I still love their lyrics. No matter how cliche I think they are sometimes, I always find myself repeating lines to people in random conversations. Which is absolutley amazing considering I havent listened to Your Favorite Weapon in like 5 months. Now theres some staying power. But these guys have let the tang go to their heads, especially the goofy dude with the stupid hats.

Sidenote: These guys are amazing live when its to a sold out crowd, but when the turn out isnt as good as they feel they deserve, the performance drops noticeably. Still, one of the only pop bands I enjoy.

thinkofmewhenyourheadgoesthroughthewindshield,
-feedmynightm are

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

That was an awesome review...and I love Brand New! canNOT wait until they play here in Seattle.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

that is by far the most well written review ive ever seen on this site. brand new truly is an amazing live band with tons of emotion behind every word

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Well written review...cheers!

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