PURGED: No longer suffering Long Island teenagers, Brand New are now destroyed adults.
There’s no shortage of haterade for emo these days. Detractors view its melodic, layered harmonies and diary-esque lyrics as the musical equivalent of an outdated Saturday Night Live skit that desperate-to-be-witty people won’t stop quoting from. You’d hope Brand New vocalist Jesse Lacey hasn’t any qualms about toiling to reinvent a genre that hecklers say is as common and unoriginal as an ironic thrift-store T-shirt — especially when you consider how well the exertion suits him. Brand New aren’t suffering teenagers from Long Island anymore; they’re destroyed adults now. Their breakthrough sophomore album, Deja Entendu, exchanged the sunny pop punk of the debut, Your Favorite Weapon, for knot-in-your-stomach, love-you-and-leave-you guitars; their third effort finds the four-piece twisting confessional post-punk into something startling, brash, and exhilarating. There’s definite Radiohead worship here, along with Lacey’s explosive delivery, not to mention hushed verses and the occasional violin whispering toward a hot-blooded chorus. Except that instead of weeping about killer cars, Lacey is singing about being manipulated by pretty, big-eyed girls over unnerving riffs with all the unselfconsciousness in the world. Whatever is really raging inside of Brand New must have tasted far worse than the bitter medicine of adolescence. Their response? Purge. It might not be for everyone, but it sure does them good.
Brand new + Dashboard Confessional | Tsongas Arena, 300 Arcand Ave, Lowell | December 9 | 617.931.2000