Here’s another one from a recent batch sent by Equal Vision. These guys aren’t strangers to these pages. Bitter Branches is a relatively new band consisting of veterans of the hardcore scene, who previously played in bands such as Calvary, Deadguy, Lifetime, Lighten Up, Kiss It Goodbye, No Escape, Paint It Black, and Walleye. I remember speaking with someone from the band about the potential review of their This May Hurt A Bit EP, but the release never arrived at our headquarters. Later, I grabbed the tape release and was blown away by the sheer energy. The years of experience were more than evident, and each composition sounded superb. Bitter Branches are now back with a debut full-length called Your Neighbors Are Failures, recently released by the beforementioned record label. Between those two recordings, Bitter Branches has released a standalone single named Live Wire.
Your Neighbors Are Failures serves as more than an appropriate continuation of This May Hurt A Bit EP. The band and the label have promoted this release with Along Came A Bastard, Solo Trip, and Plastic Tongues, excellent introductory compositions that provided a sneak peek into this superb full-length. For those who haven’t checked out this brilliant band yet, Bitter Branches incorporate several music genres into their sonic weaponry to depict a chaotic, hysterical, anxious, intense atmosphere. Perhaps post-hardcore comes to mind first, but I wouldn’t exclude music genres like metalcore, hardcore, and noise rock. There are many quality properties of noise rock involved in each composition that you’ll probably get the impression Bitter Branches are continuously levitating between post-hardcore and noise rock. Some numbers include calmer mathcore, prog rock, and jazz elements, but everything’s well combined to fit the ambiance.
I adore how guitars aren’t overly distorted. Many similar groups tend to drench guitars beneath the many layers of distortion, but not Bitter Branches. These musicians understand what works in advantage of their songs, and if that means less distortion to make every sonic maneuver more hearable, then so be it. Their musicianship might seem messy and chaotic to some inexperienced ears, but each segment in these songs is thoughtfully assembled, planned, and performed. You’ll stumble upon many excellent, powerful, progressive riffs, odd and regular melodies, harmonies, themes, virtuosities, and other sonic delicacies. I also like how the bass guitar is almost equally hearable as the remainder of the instrumentations. These cleverly constructed low-end tones play a significant role in shaping the massive sound of the band. The drummer keeps it as progressive as the rest of the band with all those technically demanding rhythm sequences, catchy accentuations, and complex drum fills. The lead vocalist is responsible for shaping the beforementioned complex, chaotic, hysterical atmosphere. His singing technics build the tension that surrounds the entire album. You should pay attention to Your Neighbors Are Failures because it could quickly become one of your favorite post-hardcore/noise rock releases this year. Head to Equal Vision Records for more information about ordering.