Inquiring Minds

The Mystery of Brand New's Missing Lyric Booklets

When Long Island quartet Brand New hit the scene in 2000, no one could have predicted the mystery that would someday surround them. Now, 15 years after their formation, fans and critics alike are beginning to unearth the meaning behind a string of easter eggs the band seems to have planted throughout their career.

To fully understand, though, you have to travel back to 2006, when demos to Brand New's would-be third album were leaked.

It was a pivotal moment for the group, which had established quite the name for themselves after their sophomore album, Deja Entendu. That album was a considerable step forward, stylistically speaking; 2001 debut Your Favorite Weapon skirted the lines between second-wave emo and melodic pop-punk so obviously it didn't quite have the same impact as its successor.

But to this day, Deja Entendu remains quite distinct when compared to albums that were released the same year (2003), especially in song structure and lyrical content. In essence, it was a statement that this material couldn't be cast aside as the same brand of angst-filled emo-punk that was flooding music rags that year.

But despite their upward movement, the band began to pull away from the media and other promotional tactics; their last known music video was released in 2003 for the single "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades," while the band began to frequently decline interview requests.

Perhaps that's why, in the early months of 2006, curious fans leaked the demos for Brand New's would-be third album, causing an understandably upset group to shelve the record entirely.

The album that was released in its place -- The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me -- is a highly personal collection of songs written during what is described to be one of the most challenging times for the band, both personally and professionally. It also seems to be the pinnacle for when Brand New began to shield themselves the most from the outside world.

Because of this, The Devil and God... seems to have a folklore surrounding it. Perhaps it always will.

Though most of this could be attributed to the fact that no one -- not even the band -- may ever know what would have come of that album had it come to fruition, it's important to mention that Brand New decided to forgo a lyric booklet. Instead, instructions were made in the album sleeve to "send a dollar to the address enclosed" if you wanted a copy of the lyrics. However, those booklets were never received, despite Brand New's fan base checking social media for information throughout the years.

Since then, the band has released their fourth studio album, 2009's Daisy, all the while making some strange changes to their Web site.

Most notably, in 2014, a placeholder was put up on the site with an announcement that the band was currently in the studio. In addition, the words "Procrastinate!", "PoGolith" and "Earth Sound Alliance" were present, along with a hidden link to the music video for "PPL MVR," a song performed by a trio of sasquatches that go by the name, "the one and only PPL MVR."

The hidden link was changed about a week later to say "NODE," which directed traffic to a specific page on a Web site titled Fusion Anomaly that talks about the effect of radio waves on humans. (The page, although no longer linked on Brand New's site, is still live at press time.)

The band has never given any information as to what any of the information meant, but many dedicated fans and critics have kept track, and the clues are beginning to accumulate into tangible information.

Story continues on the next page.

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Alyssa Dupree
Contact: Alyssa Dupree