In 2006, after their breakthrough album Deja Entendu, Brand New holed themselves up and wrote one of the most honest albums in emo/post-hardcore/screamo history. The cover says it all. Two cloaked men wearing demon masks and a young, innocent girl standing on a doorstep. Thus the title The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me holds meaning in the image.
The honesty of Jesse Lacey's lyrics slice through the instruments and the desperation in his vocal straining convey the entire concept of the album: the battle between our good and our bad dwelling inside us. Each song addresses these themes in a unique and identifiable way.
For example, the song "Jesus Christ" (which recently had a great cover by Dustin Kensrue) is a dialogue toward Jesus where Lacey professes his doubts about himself, if God really loves him and what heaven will be like.
The strained and desperate fact that "we all got wood and nails" speaks to our own capacity for betrayal; our own capacity to destroy the things we love.
Other classic tracks from Brand New's third album include 'Millstone', 'Degausser', and one my favorites, 'The Archers Bows Have Broken.' Regardless of the track, an entire listen through from start to finish is required to absorb the full impact of such a rare, transparent and hauntingly beautiful record.
Throughout my life, music has influenced me creatively and spiritually. In fact, I wanted to be a professional drummer in my youth but the realities of being a traveling musician did not sit well with my desire to be with my wife (also I did not have near enough dedication to practice). Regardless, music continues to inspire my creativity and writing, helping to shape emotions and draw out ideas buried somewhere in my subconscious. Spiritually, music connects me to a high realm, connects me in a way mere words simply can't. Below are songs I've either loved for years or have recently grown to admire. Hopefully, they might connect with you as they have with me.