Every so often, our resident vinyl lover, Kiel Hauck, takes the time to talk about a recent vinyl release and gives a breakdown about everything from packaging to sound quality. Here’s his latest installment.
Another Record Store Day has come and gone, which means that it’s time to enjoy our new records! This year was a particularly anticipated event for Brand New fans, who saw the band’s heralded 2003 album Déjà Entendu finally get a long-awaited repress. This pressing by Triple Crown Records was limited to 1,400 copies, which meant that if you wanted a copy, you needed to get there early.
I personally waited outside of Vinyl Rescue Project in Greenwood, Indiana, overnight with a few other vinyl lovers for my chance at snagging a copy. I’m happy to report that my dedication paid off and I am now a proud owner of one of my all time favorite albums. The real question is, was it worth the wait? The answer is an emphatic “yes!” Read on to find out why.
Packaging and Presentation
The artwork for Déjà Entendu is classic. The image of the levitating moon man against a fiery background has become legendary in its own right and this pressing brings new life to the artwork. The record itself is packaged inside a paper bag that simply reads “BRAND NEW DEJA ENTENDU” across the front. Once the bag is opened, the real fun begins.
The cover is die cut, with the moon man appearing on a green insert sheet with lyrics and liner notes behind the front cover. The album opens into a gatefold with gorgeous artwork inside, featuring the moon man in tall grass beneath a cloudy, moonlit sky. The quality of the casing itself is splendid and gives plenty of room for the bright red, orange and green colors to shine.
Also included in the packaging are some stickers, a Brand New patch and a beautiful lyric book with handwritten lyrics by lead singer Jesse Lacey. The book is high-quality card stock with special artwork and handwritten notes for each of the songs, including fret board drawings that explain how to play each of the tracks on a guitar. I am truly biased towards this record, but it very well may be my favorite packaging of any album I own. There is so much detail, it’s easy to lose track of time looking through it all.
Sound and Quality
As beautiful as the packaging is, what good would it be if the record sounded like crap? Fortunately, that’s not the case here. The album is pressed on two 12-inch 180-gram records that capture the full sound of one of the scene’s greatest albums. Part of what makes Déjà Entendu so legendary is its raw production value, and it comes through wonderfully on these discs. Lacey’s layered vocals sound as powerful as ever, complete with his cracking voice.
Similarly, the guitars sound great, especially on passages like the bridge of “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades”. Déjà Entendu is a diverse album and this new pressing captures all of the highs and lows. “Guernica” sounds beautifully rough around the edges while “Play Crack the Sky” finds delicate moments that are elevated by the purity of Lacey’s acoustic guitar. This pressing allows the album to breathe and makes for an extremely enjoyable (and emotional) front to back listen.
It seemed like this album would never get the repress it deserved, but with this limited Record Store Day Release, Triple Crown Records came through in a big way. The unfortunate fallout from such a release is the number of flippers on eBay charging hundreds of dollars for the record. If you were unable to snag a copy of this on Record Store Day – don’t give in to the sellers. There are still some preorder options available for the standard release coming in May.
If you were able to get a copy – enjoy it. I know I am.
by Kiel Hauck
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.