The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
|The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me|
|Studio album by Brand New|
|Released||November 20, 2006|
|Recorded||March 2005 – April 2006
Cove City, Glen Cove, New York
Longview Farm, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
Sapone Studios, Bethpage, New York
|Genre||Alternative rock, emo, post-hardcore, indie rock|
|Label||Interscope, Tiny Evil|
|Producer||Mike Sapone, Brand New|
|Brand New chronology|
|Singles from The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me|
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Brand New. It was released on November 20, 2006, through Interscope Records, making it their major label debut.
Background and Recording
In mid 2004 after five years of regular touring and recording as Brand New, its members decided to take time off and concentrate on returning to their lives and perusing other projects. At this point the band had already written and recorded "10 or 11 songs" that they believed would form the next album. In late 2005 when the band reunited to continue work on the album they found that the music they were writing was entirely different to the tracks they had previously recorded for the album, leading them to start over.
When the band reentered the recording studio they began working with producer Dennis Herring in Oxford, Mississippi. Lacey recalled that Herring understood exactly what the band were trying to do with the album, but due to time constraints and lack of money they instead opted to work with Mike Sapone, with whom they had work with on their first album. Sapone acted more as a "fifth or sixth bandmember" than as a producer, Lacey recalled, which allowed the band the involvement and control over the production that they were looking for, as well as allowing the band freedom to be more experimental.
Recording with Sapone took place over the winter of 2005 through until the spring of 2006 at Longview Farm and later Cove City and Sapone's studio in the basement of his house. Live guitarist Derrick Sherman who had been touring with the band for some time was also present during the recording sessions, contributing parts to all of the album's tracks.
Throughout the writing and recording, Jesse Lacey, Vincent Accardi, Garrett Tierney, Brian Lane and Derrick Sherman were each plagued with death and illness amongst their families and friends. Lacey recalled that each of them had become a little too comfortable with the idea of a funeral.
After the initial scrapped album session from 2004 and leaked demos in 2006 the band had written and recorded around forty tracks for the album.
Music and influence
Vocalist and guitarist Jesse Lacey wrote lyrics for all of the album's tracks with the exception of "Handcuffs", which was written by Vincent Accardi. The tracks "Degausser" and "Sowing Season" were composed spontaneously as a band, whilst Accardi composed the music for "Handcuffs", "Not the Sun" and "Welcome to Bangkok", with Lacey writing the rest.
Death and illness became two of the main themes present on the record. In an interview Lacey commented that the band purposely immersed themselves in the loss of friends and family in order to channel it into their songwriting and expel it.
As with previous Brand New records, Lacey drew inspiration from popular culture and literature for his lyrics. Lacey also wrote about subjects that he would discuss with his friend Kevin Devine, with some of Lacey's lyrics directly responding to questions that Devine would ask him during writing.
The second verse to "Sowing Season" is inspired by the Rudyard Kipling poem If— whilst the title of "Sowing Season" is a reference from Stephen King's novel Secret Window, Secret Garden, where the main character had written a short story of the same title.
Fourth track "Degausser" borrows the lyric "Take apart the demon, in the attic to the left" from the Roky Erickson track "Bloody Hammer". Fifth song on the album "Limousine" is about the death of seven-year-old Katie Flynn from the band's hometown of Long Island. Travelling home with her family after a wedding, their limousine was hit by drunk driver Martin Heidgen, a few miles from where Lacey was living at the time. In the track, Lacey tells the story from various perspectives including that of Heidgen. Lacey has commented that the story particularly resonated with him as he knew people who drunk drove the week the accident took place. Producer Mike Sapone had the idea to include samples of explosions in the track.
Album title and cover image
The album cover is a picture titled "Untitled #44" from Nicholas Prior's "Age of Man" collection which the band saw at an art show in New York. The outside of the cardboard case contains no song listings, and doesn't contain the name of the album or the band name anywhere but on the spine. The record company instead placed stickers on the plastic wrapping to indicate the name of the album and band, and on the UK version to indicate that it had the bonus track.
Release and promotion
The album was announced in October 2006.
After touring and promoting previous record Déjà Entendu, the band became increasingly reluctant to give interviews or talk to the press in promotion of the record. In one of a few exceptions during their 2007 tour of the United Kingdom, Lacey discussed that this was due to many journalists and publications misrepresenting and taking quotes out of context in order to make their interviews more interesting. Lacey also felt "more comfortable" not having to worry about photo shoots and music videos and instead just concentrate on writing and performing music.
Few television, radio or online performances were given either. Lead singer Jesse Lacey was interviewed by WFNX on 24 April 2007 at the First Act Guitar Studio, Boston as part of an acoustic performance for VW Green Room that was subsequently made available to download. The track "Jesus" was performed on both NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, whilst a live fancam performances of "Sowing Season" from the band's show at The Academy in Newcastle in February 2012 was made available by O2, with another performance from Brasil in July 2014.
A music video for "Jesus" directed by Moh Azima was produced however was never used by the band. Originally made available in 2009 before being taken down, Azima made the video available to stream on his own website in January 2012.
Various tracks from the album have been featured in other media. "You Won't Know" is featured in the opening sequence of American science fiction television series Stargate Universe, in the episode "Divided". "Jesus" is featured in the American television drama series Friday Night Lights in the episode "Upping the Ante". The track "Sowing Season" is featured in the video game Guitar Hero 5.
In April 2015 the band began sending out lyric booklets to fans that had sent them $1 nine years previously. The first pressing of the lyric booklets titled Pogolith 000 contained a number of stickers, patches and a poster alluding to the release of the leaked demos from the album. A second "no thrills" version was subsequently made available at the band's merchandise kiosk at shows and on their website.
On January 24, 2006, nine untitled demos for the album leaked onto the Internet. The band was disappointed to hear of the leak; however, they had been performing demos of the album's tracks at live shows.
Four of the demos went on to be officially released and/or re-recorded. "Untitled 8" was reworked into the album's opening track "Sowing Season" and "Untitled 6 (also known as "Mamas") later became "Luca". The original version of "Luca" was also released as the album's bonus track in the UK as "Luca (Reprisal Version)".
"Untitled 3" was later released as "Brothers", the B-side to "Jesus". Additionally, an alternate version of "Brothers" was released as "aloC-acoC", the B-side to "Sowing Season" ("Coca-Cola" backwards, most likely spelled as such to avoid trademark infringement). "Untitled 7" was re-recorded and released as the single "(Fork and Knife)".
After a July 30, 2008 solo show, Lacey stated that the long wait for the vinyl release of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me was due primarily to the band's failure to secure the rights of Nicholas Prior's photograph. Lacey continued on saying that after the band either secured the rights to the picture, or chose an alternate cover, only then would the album be released on vinyl. The band managed to secure the rights to the image by 2010, and released the album on vinyl in that same year.
On January 11, 2010, Brand New announced via their Twitter account that The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me would be released as a double vinyl LP set through Procrastinate! Music Traitors and Triple Crown Records. This version included a lyric sheet that was not included with the original CD. The vinyl set was made available in stores on March 23, 2010. Another pressing of the album was done by Academy Fight Song, which went up for pre-order on their website on May 17, 2010. This pressing was released on September 17, 2010. The album was repressed by Music on Vinyl in late 2013.
|Drowned in Sound||8/10|
The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 17 reviews. Critics emphasised the album's artistic leap in songwriting from the band's previous records.
Writing for AllMusic, Corey Apar called the record "dark and dense, yet accessible, a shadowy air permeating every crevice where Jesse Lacey's plaintive and often tortured lyrics aren't already residing." believing the album would give them to opportunity to break into the mainstream if they wanted to. Alternative Press highlighted how there was not a song on the album that could even be compared to material from their debut Your Favorite Weapon, whilst only "Not the Sun" and "Archers" bared any resemblance to material from Déjà Entendu believing the album to be dark, difficult, depressing and desolate, "Devil is the sound of four men hitting absolute rock bottom and desperately trying to rescue themselves through any means necessary; we as listeners are forced to hear the band suffer as a means to reach catharsis-all presumably for our edification" likening it to Modest Mouse and Radiohead's The Bends. Ben Sisario of Blender proclaimed the album to be "as creepy as it is magnificent" hailing Lacey's ability to write songs that "teeter between the gorgeously placid and the exhilaratingly hideous, Lacey leads a bipolar odyssey of blood and guts and desperate prayer". Andrew Blackie of Pop Matters praised the album, calling it "certainly more mature, putting breakup and self-infliction clichés, thankfully, behind them".
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me was rated the best album of 2006 by Punknews.org. The album was placed at number 74 in NME's list of the one-hundred best albums of the 2000s. It also ranked at number 20 in Sputnikmusic's list, as voted by staff members. The album was ranked at number 44 in Kerrang!'s "50 Albums You Need to Hear Before You Die" list.
All lyrics written by Jesse Lacey, all music composed by Lacey, except where noted.
|1.||"Sowing Season"||Vin Accardi, Lacey||4:31|
|4.||"Degausser"||Accardi, Lacey, Brian Lane, Garrett Tierney||5:32|
|5.||"Limousine (MS Rebridge)"||7:42|
|6.||"You Won't Know"||5:42|
|7.||"Welcome to Bangkok"||Accardi||3:05|
|8.||"Not the Sun"||Accardi, Lacey||3:09|
|11.||"The Archers Bows Have Broken"||4:14|
|UK bonus track|
|13.||"Luca" (Reprisal Version)||4:02|
Production and recording
Art and design
|United Kingdom (Official Album Chart)||77|
|United States (Billboard 200|)||31|
|United Kingdom||November 20, 2006||Interscope/Tiny Evil||CD (with bonus track)||602517174528|
|United States||November 21, 2006||CD||B0008034-02|
|March 23, 2010||Procrastinate! Music Traitors/
Triple Crown/Interscope/Tiny Evil
|September 17, 2010||Academy Fight Song||double LP||B0013946-01|
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