Brand New – Your Favorite Weapon

Brand New
Your Favorite Weapon

I live in northeast Indiana, and the indie music scene around here is almost non-existent. Fort Wayne, the second biggest city in Indiana, can attract acts like Justin Timberlake, Cher, and Aerosmith, but no venue can stay in business that brings indie bands to town. So semi-annually I get to go to a show, at a small abandoned warehouse in Kendallville, Indiana – the Wreck. Brand New reminds me of the type of band that would somehow end up there. A new band, new to touring, gets tricked into coming to Kendallville, plays for a crowd of maybe 45 who are all waiting for some equally unknown band that they all somehow know, and agree is the best. This is the type of band that I really liked before I got Napster, but also the type of band that I wouldn’t hesitate to travel the 22 miles to Kendallville to see.
To me there are two types of teeny-punk: Saves the Day punk and old Further Seems Forever punk. I guess that I base the judgments on vocals alone, because the music all sounds the same to me. Saves the Day style has more of a nasal sounding vocalist, and is usually just one line. Old Further Seems Forever style is edgier, cleaner, and almost every song splits into vocal harmonies. Brand New is a foursome from Long Island that falls under the Further Seems Forever category. It’s very energetic music with all the lyrics firmly focused on females: “I begin to hate you for your face / And not just the things you do;” “Her lips taste like a loaded gun / And I’m her number one chalk outline on the floor.” “Mix Tape” is a cool tune designed to be the first song made for a friend’s (girlfriend’s) mix-tape that has that “nothing gold can stay” message. “Seventy Times 7” shows the somewhat morbid side of the band – “I hope you choke and die” – and the incredible lack of tact as they sing “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 about as subtle as a brick in the small of my back.” Most songs are clean and upbeat with noodling guitars and dramatic dynamic changes. Occasionally they slow it down, like on “The No Seatbelt Song” and more successfully on the closer “Soco Amaretto Lime.”

This band turns out to be my little secret, the energetic rockers I would love to see live, despite the fact they will be branded as bland bubblegum punk by fellow critics. Maybe soon they will be visiting my lonely venue in Kendallville, Indiana. Alas, they are touring the UK with Finch now, and then hitting the Warped Tour later in the year. I doubt I will be seeing them anytime soon.