First impressions can be deceiving sometimes, and they’re hard to come back from; ask the parents of all of my exes. Almost always your first impression of a work of art is the definitive view for you and it probably won’t get changed. Of course opinions can change, but if you’re like me, you’re woefully stuck in your ways and your opinions are firm. This new album, Science Fiction by longstanding emo/alternative darlings Brand New, is a very rare occasion where my initial opinion of an album changed drastically after several listens.
When I first listened to Science Fiction upon its initial surprise release I was terribly disappointed. Just to supply some context, Brand New is a band I’ve loved for a long time. With their LP Deja Entendu they managed to outclass nearly every one of their counterparts in the emo scene at the time. The band weren’t content with that, though, and decided to completely reinvent their self on their follow up LP, The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me. Devil and God was a tour de force; it’s not often that a band takes a chance on their self and their established fanbase and completely changes their sound, and it’s even less often that it works out in their favor. This change, however, worked in spades; the band reached heights they’ve yet to reach again and, in my opinion, perfected their sound. They would never be a better band than on this album.
Flash forward to their latest album Science Fiction, and I had basically lost all hope for this band. Maybe that pessimism and those expectations from Devil and God made me initially hate this LP, but I was terribly bored by it on my first listen. I’m now 3 listens deep and it all hit me. “Lit Me Up” is a nearly flawless opening track, Jesse Lacey sounds better than he has in years, and the entire band I feel has hit a new creative stride after a long hiatus from recorded work.
So my opinion did a complete 180; I’m just as shocked as you might be. Sometimes pieces of art just don’t hit you the right way the first time. Some albums just need more time to grow on you and don’t strike you the right way on your initial listen. Maybe that won’t be your experience with Science Fiction, but I recommend giving this album a spin or two regardless.
Check out the album here.