Throwing genres at the wall and seeing what sticks can be a very tricky and often dangerous thing to do. Benzos, however, don’t really care how arduous or challenging this can be. Branches touches on a myriad of genres but still manages to craft very strong pop songs á la Coldplay and Keane, particularly on the thoughtful, pleasing and pop-riddled “Sell This Thing” and the somewhat tamer but tasty dance-rock “Phase 2” that would be right up The Hourly Radio’s alley. And while it might not be as adventurous as the presser would lead one to believe, it has plenty of quality such as the light and moody “Hard to Feel” and the Floyd-ian “Teach Me” that relies on a heap of atmospherics to seal the deal. However, the longer things go the band seems to lose the plot somewhat during the aimless “Hurt Everybody” that brings to mind Pilot Speed. The deliberate direction taken with “Crooked Hands” is the right approach as is the case with the grandiose “Translucent”.
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// Notes from the Road
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