When most people look back on 2009, they remember a broken economy, the social media explosion, a president with too much to fix, the rise of DIY EVERYTHING, a music industry with an unpredictable future, an ex-president striking it big for foreign relations, a slew of celebrity deaths including the late, great Michael Jackson -- but most importantly, another stellar year for music.
Yes, it's been a roller coaster ride, with one of the biggest lowlights for the punk scene manifesting itself in the departure of Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg. To close out '09, IBreathetheUnderground has compiled some of the year's more notable albums.
Unequivocally 2009's most ballsy release, Brand New's eagerly anticipated Daisy held true to the group's constantly evolving musical dynamic. Since the group's inception, there really hasn't been a follow-up record that borrows much stylistically from its predecessor. But through the years, you can still hear Brand New's talent shining through on each album, and Daisy is no exception.
What first struck me about this disorganized, noisy collection of lovable, emotional tracks is its grunge appeal. A heavy Nirvana influence throughout is a constant reminder of the band's lingering presence in a rock industry that seems to be straying from pop sensibilities and moving towards originality. Granted, a Nirvana homage doesn't exactly appear to be an original undertaking -- but the music-writing talent of Jesse Lacey helped make this album definitively Brand New, even if is a little under the influence, Cobain-style.
Tracks like "Bed" and "Gasoline" offer perfect contrasts and showcase some grunge influence, while "At the Bottom" and "Daisy" rummage through Brand New's leftovers to combine their distinct aura with a new, more experimental sound.
A lot of scenesters worship these guys, and while I'm not ready to offer myself to the Brand New deities, I can say with confidence that Brand New keeps the scene fresh. Plus, they're doing much to expand the musical minds of pop-punkers everywhere. Seems these kids fell for Your Favorite Weapon hook, line and sinker and have kept their loyalties afloat as Brand New marches its way into a new era of rock and roll.
"Laid her on the bed."
- Brand New, "Bed"