[20 October 2006]
Spacey, odd, and at times appealing, Branches have several musical limbs shooting out at once. After the silly “A Lot You Got to Holler”, the group settle into a laidback gait with “All Appeal”, a folk pop tune that glides without much hassle or any bumps, a bit like Camper Van Beethoven. Dreamier is the more up-tempo and winding “Garbage Pile”, with its soft handclaps and music box dancer-like effects. After a pleasing “Dance a Little Closer”, the band opts for a murky, quirky pop rock nugget entitled “Digital Dance”, which has little in the way of synths or keyboards and vocals that bring to mind Placebo’s Brian Molko. Perhaps the highlight of the album is the slow-building rocker “Loaded Guns”, which sounds like a cross between U2 and Lou Reed and weaves a very fine, intricate collage of sounds. Just as adorable is the soothing, bouncy “Sixteen Hours to Georgia”, which has a trace of XTC or the Beautiful South in it. An album that is strong in ideas and execution.