Brand New

Sci­ence Fic­tion

Classic Rock - - THE HARD STUFF ALBUMS -

Farewell al­bum from Long Is­land alt.rock­ers. Ar­riv­ing as an emo band in 2000, Brand New have since sculpted their sound and in­dulged their am­bi­tions to cre­ate a niche for them­selves in the pan­theon of al­ter­na­tive rock.

With Sci­ence Fic­tion, their first al­bum in eight years and the last be­fore they will split in 2018, they have writ­ten their own eu­logy. Seething with anx­i­ety and front­man Jesse Lacey’s trade­mark sar­cas­tic self‑flag­el­la­tion, and with a gor­geous pro­duc­tion that gives the mu­sic space to breathe, it’s an emo­tional, in­tel­li­gent work of grace and beauty.

Early grow­ing pains have been re­placed with the older and wiser Lacey’s view of the big pic­ture, the spi­der­web‑del­i­cate Could Never Be Heaven tak­ing a dis­tinctly grown‑up look at the na­ture of re­la­tion­ships.

And when they let loose and al­low gui­tarist Vin­nie Ac­cardi to stretch him­self, as on the sprawl­ing, grunge‑meets‑prog 137, the power they pos­sess is al­most phys­i­cally pal­pa­ble.

Good­byes are never easy, but they’re go­ing out on a high, on their own terms, leav­ing us with gen­uine mu­si­cal trea­sure to re­mem­ber them by.

emma John­ston

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