A simple T-shirt has thrown fans of Brand New into a tizzy. The band recently began selling a shirt that reads “Brand New: 2000-2018.” While the members of Brand New are being coy about the message, the obvious implication is that the beloved emo band intends to call it quits in a couple years.
The loss of Brand New would be a serious blow to the indie-rock community. The New York band has created some of the most emotionally devastating rock of the new millennium. Even when it began as a pop-punk group inspired by Blink-182, Brand New was much smarter and markedly gloomier than the majority of its peers.
The band hit its stride with the riveting 2003 album “Deja Entendu.” The 2006 follow-up “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” is an equally impressive collection of slacker anthems about self-loathing and spiritual vacancy.
In the bleak chronicle of a troubled relationship “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot,” the song’s narrator tells his forgiving partner that he’s likely to break her heart again: “Call me a safe bet, I’m betting I’m not.” The strength of the new song “I Am a Nightmare” from a forthcoming album indicates that catching Brand New on Friday — perhaps for the final time — is almost certainly a good bet.
Modest Mouse, the band behind the idiosyncratic hits “Float On” and “Dashboard,” is a perfectly suited opening act for the troubled rock of Brand New.