After a few years of silence Brand New released some new material. At first it was only one new song, called “Mene,” which was initially only released digitally. “Mene” was quickly followed (by Brand New standards) by “I Am A Nightmare,” which was released as a single-sided 12″ single with an etched b-side.
The “I Am A Nightmare” single has some nice touches to it. Yes, it only has one song so it could have easily been a 7″ to keep costs down. But it’s Brand New, the band has been known to take the road less traveled and do odd things just for the sake of being odd. As aforementioned, the b-side of the record has an etching, which is the lyrics for the song going around the record in a circular pattern from the outer edge inwards. There are no center labels on either side, which is a bit odd but not completely out of the ordinary. It’s typical for records with an etching or screen-print to not have center labels on the side those art effects are applied to. Where the oddity comes in is the a-side of this single does not have a center label.
There are even more creative touches to this single that make it stand out. The cover is die stamped, not embossed like some sites are claiming. An embossing is raised lettering or design. The single’s title and artist name, which appear along the top and bottom of the jacket, is stamped into the cover, and is indented. It’s not raised up. On the digital artwork the text is done in light blue ink, but on the cover it’s just stamped into the jacket. The process involves taking a metal design, called a die, and either manually tapping it with a hammer, or using a hydraulic or other mechanical press, to imprint the design into whatever material you’re working with. It’s typically used on leather, but can also be applied on wood, other (softer) metal or card stock like material, like this single’s jacket is made of.
On top of the die stamping on the cover, there is also a circular sticker that covers the women’s head that appears on the cover art. This sticker can be removed to reveal a star lit sky. I tried to peel the sticker off, but I don’t want to damage the jacket or the sticker itself. The sticker is not easy to remove. The back of the jacket is die cut. For those curious the artwork was done by Morning Breath.
Included with the record is an insert of sorts, which is placed along the cover and shrink wrapped that way. The insert does not come inside the jacket like most inserts. The pictures below illustrate how the insert originally came, and if you buy a copy of this 12″ it’s immediately evident where the insert is located. It’s a small, double-sided rectangular insert. It has the lyrics on one side, likely the back side, and imagery on the other side (front) that has caused endless speculation.
The front has a tombstone on it that says “Brand New 2018.” Some people are theorizing that it means Brand New will break up in 2018, or they’ll release their final album in 2018, or they’ll release their next album in 2018. Endless possibilities when Brand new is involved, and the band themselves seem to love this type of rumor mongering as they routinely feed into it. Just to prove that point, the band released a new t-shirt in the summer of 2016 with “Brand New 2000-2018” printed on it, to add further fuel to the fire. Those shirts and the insert included with this single are on top of the lyrics books the band released about a year ago, which come with a post card that had “RIP 2018” printed on it.
Pressing info for the “I Am A Nightmare” 12″ has not been released. And based on the phrasing “indefinite pressing quantity” used on the band’s label’s official web store listing for this single, pressing info, if there is any to be had, will never be released. If that phrasing is indicative of anything, it’s that the single will be kept in print, and there were easily thousands of these pressed.
The “I Am A Nightmare” 12″ costs $10 before shipping directly from Procrastinate! Music Traitors, the band’s label. Their web store, which is hosted by Merch Direct, is pretty much the only place to buy the single, it hasn’t been distributed, at least not yet. With that said, Run For Cover Records (RFC) did get some copies of the single in their distro section, which is where I bought it from. RFC charged the same price for the records as Brand New, but RFC only charged pretty much half of what Merchdirect wanted for shipping; $5.75. Combine that with a 15% off coupon and by shopping smartly I got what will likely be the best deal possible on these records. Even if Merchdirect offered one of their many sales they do on a somewhat regular basis, shipping would pretty much negate any discount price. So you would spend basically the same as what I wound up spending buying these records from RFC. Merch Direct didn’t offer media mail shipping if you bought all three of Brand New’s new records, so shipping was just under $10 from them. And If you bought each of the Brand New records individually from Procrastinate! shipping would be $4 each time. However, after writing this I discovered that Bull Moose is carrying this 12″. But even with their free shipping it would be more than what I bought them for from RFC. Bull Moose marked up the records a bit, 97 cents for the “I Am A Nightmare” 12″.
One thing I will say about ordering directly from the Procrastinate! is that they send you two free stickers with each of the three records. You get a generic Procrastinate! label sticker and a release specific sticker. You don’t get those records if you order from RFC, but I’d rather save money. All copies come with a download card for high qaulity 320 kbps MP3s.