***Brand New was my favorite band from 2001-2017. I first wrote this article chronicling their best songs as a band over a year ago! Some of you may know they have since broken up and have been scandalized appropriately. Perhaps I will write a future post about my thoughts/feelings/reasoning behind their break-up, but for now I’d like to re-visit this article from 2017.
I wanted to do something fun and different from what I’ve seen people doing this week ever since the release of Brand New’s Science Fiction. So, I’ve decided since this may be the last album we get from Brand New I would go ahead and do as people do when something winds down, as Brand New’s career seems to be, and I would do a countdown of their best songs. It is important to note that I am a biased fan who has been following the band since the release of their first single, “Jude Law and a semester abroad,” way back in 2001. So, here we go….
25. Me vs. Maradonna vs. Elvis: This song is hauntingly quiet until Jesse lashes out in vanity-laden screams. I bet a lot of high schoolers shouted this to themselves on their way home from school.
24. Waste: There is incredible depth to not only the title of this song, but also the lyrics. “Every night you were tripping out-in the morning you were coming down-if it’s breaking your heart, if nothing is fun don’t lose hope my son this is the last one.” It’s apparently about addiction and it is simultaneously addicting to listen to.
23. Last chance to lose your keys: It’s obvious why this is on here-this is the funnest emo song ever made to sing along to. How many of us were home on a Saturday night alone and decided to blare this when we were in college?
22. Welcome to Bangkok: I have no idea how this song didn’t turn into the greatest intro track for like Sunday Night football or something? Incredible energy and Brian showcases his drumming ability.
21. Can’t Get it out: This reminds me of Weezer and Weezer is awesome. It’s also an apology of sorts from Jesse “I’ve got a positive message sometimes I can’t get it out.”
20. Mix Tape: The beginning of this song is emo and the end is just fun electric guitar pop-punk. I once got in trouble for passing a note with these lyrics during class, and I bet I’m not the only one “I’ve got a $20 bill that says no one’s ever seen you without makeup.”
19. Fork & Knife: This is another fun song to jam when you’re looking to change pace from electric guitar to piano, but with the same catchy hook you always expect from Brand New.
18. Bought a Bride: Daisy is not nearly as bad as some people have claimed, in fact, I think parts of it are very good-including this one. The guitars on this song rock out.
17. Luca: The first time I ever heard this song I was listening to it from an illegally downloaded limewire version and was just kind of chilling out until Jesse started screaming “Where you’ve been!” Then it just blew my mind for the next minute or so until the song trailed off.
16. Limousine: The creativity of Jesse’s lyrics are unbelievably obvious on this one. “In the choir I saw our sad messiah-he was tired and bored of my lament said I’d die for you one time but never again.” Jesse struggles out loud with death and evil while singing melodically and Vinny showcases his incredible electric guitar abilities once again.
15. Soco Amaretto Lime: “I’m going to stay 18 forever.” Part of me hopes this is the last song Brand New ever plays because this is the first song I almost cried to. Part of me hopes I never have to hear this song again because it only brings me nostalgia from when I was much younger and much dumber.
14. Jude Law and a Semester Abroad: This is the first song I ever heard from Brand New and I was hooked. It helps that I was in a love triangle with a girl called “Jessica” at the time, so as a middle schooler I felt I could shout “Jess I still taste you thus reserve my right to hate you,” with calculated angst.
13. Lit me up: This is the first song on “Science Fiction,” and everything about it shouts that this is the beginning of a long and drawn out good-bye from Brand New. At the same time, Jesse’s lyrics are intriguing and haunting “When I grow up I want to be a heretic I want to climb over the wall’ cause I’m not on the list.’” Or how about, “Yeah, I burn like a witch in a Puritan town.” Couple this with the “666” which shows up on the album art of “Science Fiction,” and some other songs on the album, and I’m of the belief that the once agnostic Jesse may have taken a jump of faith into atheism. Perhaps we will never know for sure.
12. Play Crack the Sky: “This story is old but it goes on and on until we disappear.” Maybe Brand New will ride off into the sunset jamming this in a similar way I used to ride around in my car with my high school girlfriend. I probably listened to this after breaking up with her, and so it would be thematic for Brand New to break up with me now with the same song.
11. Millstone: I’ve said a lot about Jesse’s lyrics, but man this song has some great ones “I used to pray like God was listening I used to make my parents proud…” He is self-loathing; we all do at times.
10. At the Bottom: When Daisy was released this was the first song I heard and I loved it. This is Brand New’s best Modest Mouse impersonation.
9. 137: My favorite band outside of Brand New is Nirvana and this is the closest thing to Nirvana I have heard in a very long time. It’s no wonder I love this song so much, and if you are a Nirvana fan I’m guessing you will too.
8. The Quiet Things that No one Ever Knows: Remember when Brand New played this on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live in front of hundreds of crazy 20 somethings? Yeah, but then they disappeared for 3 years. This song almost put Brand New in a position to become very well-known, but it’s my belief the band didn’t want that so they went into hiding with this song trailing them in the background.
7. Same Logic: This song straight up rocks off “Science Fiction.” It incorporates the best elements of every album Brand New has ever released. Also, I’m wondering if there is a hidden message here about Trumpism?
6. Sink: If I were an MMA fighter this would be the song I’d walk-out to. It rocks from start to finish and for all Daisy haters I would just point you to this song and say “If you don’t like this then you just don’t like rock music.”
5. Degausser: Sometimes I wonder if this should have truly been an acoustic song, because it is awesome when played on acoustic, on the other hand the way it was released on TDAGARIM allowed the band to showcase their abilities to go quiet-loud-quiet-louder-and then quiet again. This is the approach that made that album incredible.
4. Sic Transit Gloria: It’s amazing how after 14 years this still sounds like a song that could have been released for the first time last week. I believe this song is timeless.
3. You won’t Know: This song has absolutely killed live music for me. Nothing will ever compare to Brand New’s many variations of this song live.
2. Jesus Christ: I’m guessing most people who have never listened to Brand New have at least heard this song. The depth of Jesse’s battle with his faith is not unique, but his ability to write and then sing about it is. It’s obvious Jesse is uneasy about his faith and always has been. If there is one person I’d like to talk about the Gospel with I think it would be him.
1. Sowing Season: “I am not your friend, I’m just a man who knows how this feels, I’m not your friend, I’m not your lover, I’m not your family, yeah!” This pretty much sums up Jesse’s relationship with his fans in a nutshell, although, I don’t believe he wrote this about his fans. I love everything about this song and I think all Brand New fans do too.
Well, there you have it, the 25 best Brand New songs from 2000-2017. Hopefully they are bluffing on their break-up and they will give me something new to write about in the future and some new songs can crack the top 25.