Label: Interscope Records Release date: 22/09/09 Website: http://www.fightoffyourdemons.com Buy: Am No, Daisy is not as good as The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. How could it be? Chances are Brand New will never get close to exceeding that album; instead they needed to devise a new plan of attack. After dramatically improving album by album over the last decade Brand New sure have come a long way from the throwaway pop punk of Your Favorite Weapon, you could even say they sound like a completely different band. A forthcoming headline show at Wembley Arena puts things into perspective – Brand New are now quite a big deal, the levels of expectancy should be a welcome burden to the band, but those who have witnessed Brand New live will know there is no guarantees that show will run smoothly, on any given day they could be brilliant, or disappointingly awful, as those who experienced their main stage Reading Festival set will testify. Somewhat easing the pressure currently on front man Jesse Lacey Daisy was mostly written by Vincent Accardi, perhaps this is an astute move since Daisy is far more immediate - short, sharp and oddly aggressive. If their previous album was a cathedral of sound, then Daisy is a wrecking ball that brings everything crashing down. You can look at this two ways, firstly as a response to the expectancy from fans and critics alike the band have gone back to basics, channelled the pressure and stress of following up what could prove to be their magnum opus by resorting back to a more primal sound. Expectancy does weird things to bands; some fans have even dubbed Daisy as Brand New’s In Utero. Though at first such a comparison appears wide of the mark, there is actually some merit in the point because by coming out swinging with a harder, abrasive edge the band will be able to short cut through the share weight of expectation, forcing people to be in one of two camps . You will either like this album or you will hate it. The other line of thought is that Daisy is a cop out, waving the white flag, admittance that Brand New cannot better their previous album, so they’ve thought to themselves let’s go different. This is an assumption partly deduced purely from Lacey passing on songwriting responsibilities to Accardi. Is Lacey uncomfortable with getting adorned with praise, considered by a vocal few to be one of the finest songwriters of his generation? Beginning with ‘Vices’ a song that is bound to make you jump, completely taking you by surprise as a little showtime interlude makes way to a hectic post-hardcore bomb blast, Lacey’s screams are rabid, the song itself seems uncharacteristic. ‘Bed’ changes pace dramatically, a slow soothing lullaby-like quality infiltrates the track; ‘At the Bottom’ is a peculiar beast, particularly for a leadoff single, with Lacey adopting a Southern fried twang early in the song, lyrically there are some interesting couplets “Some men die under the mountain just looking for gold / Some die looking for a hand to hold” but it blows along like tumbleweed, strange and insubstantial. ‘Gasoline’ is full of vitriol, severing vocals almost aflame, the song that captures the unease of Daisy, a mix of riffs and pedal effects, a blend of intricacy and heavy handed clubbing and certainly the one song that stands out, introducing us to the new difficult to get along with Brand New. ‘You Stole’ mirrors Modest Mouse, certainly capturing the essence of the softer moments on We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The influence seems deliberately obvious. ‘Be Gone’ is a skittish Black Keys like mumble, I am loathed to refer to it as a song in its own right, but it helps to introduce the final phase of the album. ‘Sink’ has an interesting ‘Icky Thump’ drum beat before unraveling into the classic Brand New call and response screams that were present on Deja Entendu, only much rawer. ‘Bought a Bride’ is driven by moody bass, and foreboding drums, before breaking out into something altogether anthemic. There is even a hint of a guitar solo. Then the album peters out as ‘Daisy’ provides the albums weakest track. ‘In A Jar’ also suffers from repeating the quiet load formula. ‘Noro’ then ends proceedings, for some reason it reminds me of a screechier version of ‘Rockin' in the Free World’ meeting ‘Sowing Season’ at a halfway house of disenchantment. Brand New have released an infuriating record, since commercial post-hardcore and rock in general has had its edge smoothed away in recent years Daisy sounds quite radical, in comparison to their last three albums it sounds rather aggressive. However in reality it’s neither original enough, nor striking enough to add anything to the bands growing reputation. Rating: 6/10