learning love songs

est. 2008


Brand New


Can Brand New just show us what they’ve been working with already? Jesus Christ, enough with the roll out.

No matter how pissed off that makes me, though, I can listen to “The Devil and God…” and forgive all of their damning publicity decisions, because it just never stops Feeling Relevant. You could ask a dozen people who like modern rock music about Brand New and maybe 30-40 percent have heard of them? All of whom probably really love them, or have some attachment to the band even from their “Your Favorite Weapon” days. For me, “Deja Entednu” will forever hold a place on my desert island five (Deja, Clarity, Rumours, Abbey Road, ???) and was really a milemaker for the scene and its ascent, but I think “The Devil And God…” cuts a little deeper sometimes, somehow, finds the wounded dark places and exacerbates the pain. It screams and pleads and begs more, it gives up and falls down harder, and I can think of no better soundtrack for a day or decade’s worth of fervent aggression.

“Hey hey hey, Mr. Hangman,
Go get your rope

Your daughters weren’t careful,
I fear that I am a slippery slope
Now even if I lay my head down at night
After a day I got perfectly right
She won’t know…

She won’t know.
She won’t know.”
~You Won’t Know
Brand New, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me


“Not gone but fading fast,
So let me put to rest the only question that you’ll ask,
We don’t feel anything.”
Brand New

It’s finally here.

Six years since their last release, with a criminally slow build-up of teasing and hint-dropping of new material, Brand New gave their fans something to listen to on this random spring Monday.

It’s barely two and a half minutes. It rips fast and ferocious. It kinda makes you want to rage. It makes me want more – so much more! – of new riffs and Jesse harmonizing with himself on snarling hooks. “We don’t feel anything,” he declares – is that why we haven’t heard new music in six years? Because for all your heralded brilliance and iconic anthems, you haven’t had anything worthwhile to say since your last album turned into something of a disappointment? Oh. Thanks for clarifying.

I will take it.

“Mene” doesn’t say much about a change in their direction as a band out of context – does a single mean an album? Does their live performance of this, followed so quickly by a recording, tease a larger forthcoming announcement? I would like to think so. It’s new Brand New, and so the world has to stop spinning for a minute, all the blog posts have to be written, and all the speculation has to culminate with a whole bunch of question marks as to their next steps.

No one is worse to their fans than Brand New. As such, no one has more devoted fans, left parched enough for any drop of activity to swallow with gleeful greed (like that Instagram wipe-and-post over the weekend). I am going to play this song probably a dozen more times today, I am going to memorize it, I am going to learn all the words and hum the parts and I will go back and listen to the rest of their discography in celebration of a band that I cannot, will not give up on – even when they give fans very little to hang on for.In their defense, giving it away as a free download is a fan-friendly and biz-smart move.

I generally roll my eyes at old sayings and cliche phrases used as central tenants in reviews & writings, but this time, I can only think of one thing to say and it’s as recycled as the best of them:

Good things come to those who wait.


The prospect of new Brand New material getting release sometime in the relatively near future has me knee-deep in their discography. We’re talking front-to-back Deja listens, in-depth attention to Daisy’s themes, outright speaker-blasting of The Devil and God, and wistful rewinds with Your Favorite Weapon.

What a catalog. What a band.They never get old, no matter how many times I listen. Any time I think I *might* be growing out of the music of my past, that I might not need to re-hear these songs, they come by and interrupt, reset me back to where I was. I remember how clearly I first heard those parts, I remember hearing angst in Jesse Lacey’s voice unlike any singer I’d ever heard and feeling so drawn to it, so in sync.

Hard to believe it was 10 years ago I first heard this particular song, strange to understand how much I’ve grown since then, and a little disconcerting to recognize how much can feel the same after so much time.

Brand New For Life.

“Up the stairs, 

the station where 
the act becomes
the art of growing up.”
~Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fade
Brand New, Deja Entendu


“So, is that what you call a getaway?
Tell me what you got away with.
Cause I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish.
I’ve seen more guts in 11-year-old kids.
Have another drink and drive yourself home.
I hope there’s ice on all the roads.
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,
and again when your head goes through the windshield.

And is that what you call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back.
So let’s end this call, and end this conversation.
and is that what you call a getaway?
well tell me what you got away with.

cause you left the frays from the ties you severed
when you say best friends means friends forever

So, is that what you call a getaway?
Well tell me what you got away with.

Cause I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish.
I’ve seen more guts in eleven-year-old kids.
Have another drink and drive yourself home.
I hope there’s ice on all the roads.
And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,
and again when your head goes through the windshield.

Everyone’s caught on to everything you do 

And I can’t let you, let me down again
~Seventy Times Seven
Brand New, Your Favorite Weapon

A decade’s worth of friendship….everything we went through, the late nights, the breakups, the funerals…..and I don’t even get a phone call?

There’s a reason you keep people around who knew you when. To keep you grounded and smack you in the face before you do something stupid. To pull you back on your feet when fear drags you down. To remind you why the hell you’re doing what you’re doing anyway.

When you’ve been that person for someone for a long, long time, it’s a more than a little disarming to hear they’ve moved across the country without a phone call. Here’s hoping it’s a rumor.

He was the last person I said goodbye to. The first person I wanted to see.


When you start yelling at the computer about bad headlines on local broadcast websites, you know you’re overtired.

This is when “Your Favorite Weapon” comes in handy, during that minute when you need to curse loudly at the world and most everyone in it. When you have to roll your shoulders back, hold your head like royalty, and go about doing your own thing.

” Call 911.
I’m already dead but someone should be caught
and held responsible for this bloody mess.

Call homicide. Take the case to court.
Her lips taste like a loaded gun

and I’m her number one chalk outline on the floor.”

~Sudden Death in Carolina
Brand New, Your Favorite Weapon


Even if I posted this before, I don’t care. Daisy gets better and better the more I listen to it, and this song is biting.

“Well I carry this box to the proper place
And when I lower it down
I let it you fade away
I hope that you would do this for me
I’d serve you drugs on a silver plate
If I thought it would help you get away
I hope that you would do this for me”

~At the Bottom,
Brand New, Daisy


I like this song….makes me think of long nights with good friends….”We’re all right we’re were we’re supposed to be.” Looking forward to summer and reuniting with the high school gang….desperately need that and it’s gonna be so much fun (now that we’re all legal, of course). Anyway, cool band I’d heard of but never heard, glad I took the time.

I really can’t stop listening to Brand New this week, but that’s okay.


Brand New hits the nail on the head everyyyytime. with killer guitar solos to top it off.

“last night they said the fire had spread
then we said our prayers
and now the flames are burning me in my bed
but I just don’t care

we all go to sleep in the same place
and in the morning, hope that we’re all the same
just sit around like broke down cars in the lot
waiting for repairs

there you go
there it goes

well, I wish that I was as good as you
caring and trusting
and I wish that my condition was new
but I’m old and rusting

we just hurry up only to wait
add to the list of all the places we hate
I pretend like I got something to say
but I’ve got nothing

now I know that you stole
from the cradles they were rocked in
you took the first words that they spoke
yeah, you stole

so if I’m a liar and you’re a thief
at least we both know where the other one sleeps
let’s end this tonight

because you stole
from the cradles they were rocked in
you took the first words that they spoke
yeah, you stole”

~You Stole,
Brand New, Daisy


Since it’s midterms week and studying’s no fun, I spend a lot time fooling around the Internet. Today I came across Free Energy and thought they sounded pretty good (see link for free album stream). I love their vibe, they’re so fun and happy, and really melodic guitar solos.

I always like seeing what labels are putting out, what they think is up-and-coming. I imagine that sometimes they’re so far behind the curve, other times it’s dead on. So fancy that, signed bands that are talented musicians and not just an act!!! 😮

(For the record, Free Energy is signed to DFA, and their debut album is called “Stuck on Nothing.”)

bang bang, pop, pop
when does the searchin stop
bang, bang, pop, pop
when the mind goes

~Bang Pop
Free Energy, Stuck on Nothing

^probably the catchiest chorus ever about the extinguishing of the self.

Also, though I really really miss my iPod, it’s cool to hear what you hear when you don’t have headphones in all the damn time. Today, for example, I was walking home from class and I heard someone blasting “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” from their bedroom window or something. It was all echo-y and loud and the sky was a warm, dark blue and it was cold but not so cold that you minded. I could hear it for about half the song, it was pretty loud. Quite the moment in my day. So yeah, no iPod isn’t all bad. Not to mention all the overheard conversations, phone calls, and the seemingly higher number of people I know I seem to run into.

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