Brand New

YOUR + FAVORITE + WEAPON

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Brand New is bitter about ex-girlfriends. Just how bitter? The lyrics to just about any song on their debut will give you an inkling, especially "Seventy Times 7," where they grieve: "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 seat belt and again when your head goes through the windshield." Aside from all the excessive post-breakup angst, Brand New's emotive pop-punk holds up nicely among the big list of its contemporaries. There are several upbeat anthems with three-part harmonies, though a few ballads break up the high energy. They pay respect to post-punk in "Mix Tape," where they mention the Smiths, while cribbing from the Cure's "Close to Me" in "Logan to Government Center." The repeating refrain of "This isn't high school" in "Last Chance to Lose Your Keys" at least acknowledges that they've grown up, although in the closing singalong "Soco Amaretto Lime" they declare, "I'm gonna stay 18 forever." You'll probably feel 18 listening to this.

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