Brand New have always been mysterious. Though it seems as the years go by and we get closer to 2018, they get more and more cryptic. Out of nowhere, the band dropped their supposed fifth album, “Science Fiction”, on August 17th, 2017. There were numerous leaks surrounding it beforehand. A couple days before the release, on August 15th, they announced a very limited vinyl pre-order for an untitled fifth record with no tracks, no album art, nothing. A CD was shipped to the first 500 people on August 17th who ordered that special vinyl. The CD had a single 61-minute song named “44.5902N104.7146W”, which are the coordinates to the famous Devil’s Tower  – a setting in the sci-fi movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Later in the day, they officially released it digitally with CD and Vinyl orders shipping in October.

The album opens with a track named “Lit Me Up”. The track begins with a tape talking about Therapy, which the song is about. The track is overall a great opener for this album; using a bunch of synths mixed with Lacey’s haunting and saddened voice is beautiful. The slow addition of each instrumental creates such a great, dark, and heavy atmosphere.

Can’t Get It Out” is probably my least favorite on this album, but that said, I do not hate this song at all. It just doesn’t stick as great as the rest but even so, it’s still a great Brand New song. The song’s problem is that it’s monotonous and simplistic with its vocals and melody, respectively, but it makes it up with the lyrics, guitar work, and harmonies (how about that wail?). Lyrically, this song is possibly about how Lacey means to be positive in his music, but maybe his depression prevents that.

“Science Fiction” has some amazing tracks like “Desert”, which tackles homophobia as well as Xenophobia in a satirical, mocking style (Similar to 30 Seconds To Mars’ “Revolution”) and “In The Water”, which questions if the band has really accomplished anything.

Same Logic/Teeth” must be one of the best songs the band has ever written. It deals with mental health and suicidal tendencies. It begins so slow but builds into a brilliantly written song. This song hits with a great mix of “Daisy and The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me”. Following that is “137” with harsh imagery of a nuclear apocalypse.

With the closing track of “Batter Up”, the album ends as calm as it began. If this is the last album, it’s a wonderful way to go out. Amazing to witness a band do 5 albums in 17 years and have each one, and the b-sides, become so solid and different, but also a trendsetter in the Emo/Alternative Rock/Post-Rock genres. I’ll have to give this one a perfect score. Almost 8 years after Daisy was released, they release something they’ve been perfecting for years, scrapped, then remade and perfected again. Thank you for the five great albums, Brand New. Please bring flowers.

Reviewed by Leo Adkins

#BrandNew #ScienceFiction