Levittown’s Brand New is poised to bring Long Island rock back to the top of Billboard album charts for the first time since 1993, according to the industry trade magazine.
The band’s “Science Fiction,” released unannounced last week on its own Procrastinate! Music Traitors label, is projected to earn 55,000 album-equivalent units, what Billboard now uses to measure sales and streaming, and should be enough to earn them their first No. 1 album.
“Science Fiction” is Brand New’s first album of new material since 2009’s “Daisy,” which reached No. 6. The band expected to release the album last year, but decided it wasn’t ready. “While there exists a collection of songs that, right now, some would call fit to be an album, to us it is not complete enough, refined enough, or edited thoroughly enough to be something we would call finished or essential,” the band said in a statement in October. It wasn’t clear that the album was finished until the band started taking orders for the vinyl version on Aug. 15. “Science Fiction” went on sale on Aug. 18 and was made available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music over the weekend.
The album features the intense, well-crafted rock that has made Brand New an arena filler for years, offering a nod to their history with “Same Logic/Teeth” and a glimpse at a more radio-ready side in “Waste,” though it does not include the stellar single “Mene” that was originally released to preview the album.
If Brand New does manage to hit No. 1 when the new Billboard charts are announced on Sunday, it will mark the first album from a Long Island rock act to top the charts since Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams” in 1993. Brand New’s sometimes-rivals, sometimes-friends in the Long Island rock scene Taking Back Sunday reached No. 2 in 2006 with “Louder Now.”
Greenlawn native Mariah Carey was the last Long Island artist to top the album charts, in 2008, with “E=MC2,” though she and Glen Cove’s Ashanti have been No. 1 this century, along with Valley Stream’s Shaggy.