August 17, 2017 | BY: Chris Payne
After eight years of public speculation, message board sleuthing and amateur detective work, Brand New’s fifth studio album is finally a real, tangible thing. Science Fiction surprised us, but it’s not a surprise album, at least not in the 2017 music industry definition of the term.
There were no pop-up shops or thirst-heavy viral stunts. Zane Lowe didn’t premiere a song on his Apple Music show and hell, the album isn’t even up on streaming services. It’s been almost four years since Dec. 2013, but there’s a good chance frontman Jesse Lacey still doesn’t really know what “pull a Beyoncé” means. No, Brand New’s straight-to-diehards release plan feels more like a cut from a bygone era, when punk and indie rock fans were connected by home address listings and mail order catalogs, when bands sent out glossy 8X10’s en masse and could write their own mythologies through hokey, half-true one-sheet bios. Still, it feels sincere.