After announcing the record just two days prior, the band sent a mysterious CD to fans who had pre-ordered the vinyl
On Tuesday, after years of speculation and clinging onto every crumb of a hint they were offered, long-suffering Brand New fans were sent yet another message. This one was brief, but less mysterious: a tweet of a photo that said simply: “Brand New Fifth Album. Vinyl/Very Limited. Ships in October” with a link to a pre-order that sold out incredibly quickly. Just two short days later, after eight years of near-silence, the first 500 people to order the vinyl were sent a mysterious CD of only one 61-minute track entitled “44.5902N104.7146W”.
Fans very quickly figured out that the coordinates referenced Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, the “main spot” in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Further Shazam research revealed that the individual tracks within the 61-minute track had names: among others, ‘Out of Mana’, ‘In The Water’, and ‘No Control’. The album, entitled Science Fiction, has now been released for download. Many of its twelve tracks reference back to its title, with songs like ‘451’, samples of dialogue from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and references to Dr. Strangelove.
Last year, further adding to their mystery, Brand New announced their impending breakup with a t-shirt that read “Brand New 2000-2018”. Since then there’s been very little but silence, and in typical Brand New fashion, the band have squeezed as much mania into the final few months of their time as a band rather than trying to make the most of the time they’ve left. There aren’t many other bands who, after eight years with no music, could manage to whip up the frenzy that’s been surrounding Brand New for the last few days. Somehow they've not only managed to construct a mythology far away from their pop punk roots, but to force thousands of aging, distracted emos to sit patiently in the dark refreshing webpages and listening intently to one hour-long track. If they’re still breaking up next year it’s a shame, but it’s a hell of a way to sign off.
Currently, the album is not available on Spotify, but you can download it here.