These Branches

The Payoff EP

Written by: PP on 03/01/2012 03:38:44

These Branches consist of two dudes who claim to be "playing not your average punk. Recommended if you don't like stereotypical bullshit" according to their own words. That's accurate to some extent on their new four-track EP "The Payoff", but it's not necessarily as original as their statement claims. It's basically a throwback to the 90s post-hardcore scene when it stemmed from punk rock, back when bands like Fugazi, The Jesus Lizard, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Jawbox and a bunch of others reigned in the underground music scene.

Since then, our conception of the two styles has changed significantly, mostly due to a significant dosage of melody that has elevated both to a mainstream level. And though "The Payoff" EP isn't outright un-melodic, it's definitely more jagged and unpredictable than much of today's output. It's a noisy, shout-y piece of old school post-hardcore that looks to impress through odd time signatures, experimental guitars, and plenty of distorted noise. In the latter category, one has to give credit where credit is due: "The Payoff" features an impressive amount of noise from a band consisting of just two individuals.

However, just because it's noisy shouldn't automatically mean it's good, unless you're one of the modern music hipsters who thinks anything noisy is immediately post-punk copying The Joy Division and therefore awesome. In the case of These Branches, well, they aren't bad by any means, but only one out of four tracks leaves any sort of lasting impression on the listener. And that's the stop-start time signatures of opener "Profiteer". The rest merely sound like what they are: noisy pieces of post-punk meets post-hardcore in the 90s way, subtly paying homage to the big bands of the days in the past, but never that relevant or overtly interesting.


Download: Profiteer, Purest
For the fans of: 90s post-hardcore / punk
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 30.10.2011
Kat Kat Records

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