The band's acutely aware that this time seems to have passed by in between albums. On "East End Hollows" they sing: "Drunk last in punk love, we dream of / Punk rock show and losing scenes / Dark lust and Dj sex and list of projects / We can never finish, oh no / What makes you, makes me think (do you think?) / Happiness resides in the peek in the bar / And the neighbor who knew we'd reside / Happiness is in the doing in the making / In the who knows who knows who what happened (this is the life) / Another drink, another lifetime of regrets / Another song so we can sing along / Another friend you never call on / Another night to be forgotten / But you take these dreams and throw them out the window." Equally dream and acknowledgement of their romanticizing of the past, "East End Hollows" is the thesis statement of a band who's taking joy in making music that has passed by.
I'd forgotten how amazing it was when I heard Braid the first time until No Coast rekindled all that energy. It's an utterly infectious album with driving rhythms that stop and turn on downbeats only to pick back up at the speed they left off. Go on, I dare you to listen to "Lux" and not find some part of your body bobbing. Part of the joy is how Braid's akimbo rhythm seems to perfectly set off the vocals and get the guitar parts strumming along as on "Bang" the opener from the album.
Because, for bands like Braid, it's really impossible to even take on an air of objectivity. And to try to detach myself from how I knew the band before is just a waste of time. When a band suddenly reemerges after such a long time away like Braid or The Dismemberment Plan last year, the tendency is to lump their new album in with their old ones or try and treat them as a totally new outfit, which is just as wrong. For their part, if there's even an ounce of doubt about returning, it's no where on this album. In fact, there are few albums that sound this self-assured and high-octane. As the band sings on "Many Enemies" -- "This is my city / Ask for the truth / And you get it / Believe what you want / And that's your truth / Ask for the truth / And you get it / Believe what you want / The truth can be anything / Anything!"