Brand New – “Moshi Moshi”
Brand New/Safety in Numbers Split/ Triple Crown/ 2002
For a band built on sweeping, well penned songs about hyper-dramatic relationship issues, “Moshi Moshi” feels entirely out of place. The earwormy pop of this track out of step with the emo-dripping pop-punk of Your Favorite Weapon and the theatrical emotional epics on Deja Entendu. And yet, it still feels like a Brand New track and features the sort of melodramatic lyrics that make Jesse Lacey’s songs such a delicious pleasure (“If I kissed your neck/ Would you slit my throat?”) while also intentionally trying to be a little goofy (“The more I hang around you/ The more hang-ups I get”) to up the sense of playfulness. Even though this song lives outside of Brand New’s wheelhouse, it’s a perfect example of a great b-side: a track that doesn’t quite fit on a band’s album, but excels on its own as an example of the band’s versatility. Not all b-sides have to do this to be great, but considering there really isn’t a place for this on either of Brand New’s early albums, it’s nice that they thought to release it anyway.