Everyone knows Brand New and Taking Back Sunday have a pretty deeply intertwined (and frequently messy) history. But regardless of each band’s feelings toward the other, BN frontman Jesse Lacey and TBS guitarist/vocalist John Nolan go way back both as friends and as bandmates—which is the setup for this curiosity, a 10-song album by Gudmunder Bjornsen, the pair’s high school band from the mid-’90s. So why did this just come out now, nearly 20 years later? That story’s a bit complicated, but the short version is a guy tried to sell a burned CD of this previously unheard album on eBay last week for $250. Fans created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to purchase it, and when the auctioneer found out, he ended the auction and instead decided to try and sell digital copies for $11 to people directly. Then, John Nolan found out, basically said, “Fuck it,” and uploaded the album to Soundcloud but didn’t tell anyone how to find it. And then, of course, someone found it. And now you can listen to it.
Keep in mind: While Lacey and Nolan are both in this band, neither is the primary singer; the band had an unidentified female lead vocalist (a girl Nolan was dating at the time). However, tracks two, seven and eight feature either Lacey or Nolan singing lead, and both pop up as backing vocalists frequently. Also, track 10 is a full-on funk jam with an incredibly bizarre hidden track at the end. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Also, we should point out that while spelled slightly differently, Gudmundur Bjornsson is a real person—actually, several real people. If this somehow ties into viral marketing for the upcoming Brand New album, I will both be astonished and nonplussed.