Brand New/Safety In Numbers - split CD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Brand New / Safety In Numbers

split CD (2002)

Triple Crown

Brand New. There's not much of a bigger buzz band out there right now. This band has toured the country something like 3 or 4 times now in about a year, each time with increasingly bigger draw. They were slated to put out this split CD with Reggie and the Full Effect last year but it fell through. This time last year, this would've sold tons of copies just for new Reggie songs. As it stands, this will sell just as many copies because it has Brand New on it - that's how popular they're getting. So as Brand New gets bumped up to the A side, as it were, a new band takes the B side - Safety In Numbers. Safety In Numbers is Andy Jackson from Hot Rod Circuit's side project. The band also features Jake, the drummer of the New Amsterdams.

Brand New gets to go first on this EP, and they make good use of it, showing the world why they have all this nonstop buzz about them. The first track, "Moshi Moshi," demonstrates the band's ability to write one hell of a two and a half minute, catchy pop-punk song. The downside is that, while the majority of their debut album "Your Favorite Weapon" sounded a bit too polished, especially on vocals, this track sounds too underproduced The bass is barely audible, and overall the mix is very muddy. It sounds like the song was recorded in a basement somewhere. It's a shame, because the song really rocks live. Their other track is a cover of "Am I Wrong?" by Love Spit Love.

Who the fuck is Love Spit Love?


The cover shows Brand New's ability to switch from some high-energy pop-punk to more moody, brooding numbers. I don't know if this band could ever play this song live [it features a *lot* of piano and other more orchestral stuff], but it sounds great here on CD.

Safety In Numbers is up next. They have the dreaded task of following up a great band on a split. This is no fun for a band [see my review of the Jimmy Eat World/Jebediah split for further elaboration]. Safety In Numbers does a respectable job with their tracks, but nothing more. Their first, an original called "No Use," sounds very much like the earlier Hot Rod Circuit material. I read that Andy started this project so he could persue musicial endeavors outside of HRC - he hasn't really succeed with this yet. The other track is a cover of Journey's "Faithfully," and it's a blast to listen to. It comes close to outshining the Brand New songs, but not close enough.

So is the split worth your money, since that's what you're all wondering. Well, it does come in a cool slimline case with really neat artwork, and the CD itself is partially clear [ala NOFX's "The Decline"]. Is it still worth the 7 or 8 bucks you're going to have to shell out for it? That depends on how big of a fan of the bands you are. Rumor has it this split CD is a "limited edition," so you might want to pick one up before you see Brand New hosting Total Request Live.

And you will.

Brand New - Moshi Moshi [clip]