BIOWe may not like to admit it, but hyperbole has always played a role in hardcore and punk. Call it youthful idealism or creative license if that makes you feel better. We shared stories of a world both better and worse than we experienced it, and embellished our capacity to change it. Decades later, those stories are still being told, as if one more singalong will finally fix everything.
And while it would be easy to rely on storied musical resumes and just relive past glories, Philadelphia’s Bitter Branches have taken a decidedly opposite approach. With songs speaking to the thoughtful frustration gained from years of experiencing first hand exactly how the world works, and often how it doesn’t. From seeing both peers and heroes fade slowly into comfortable obscurity. Rather than hopeful daydreams, Bitter Branches offers a refreshingly honest observation of society, scrapes and scars on full display.
Musically, the band has little interest in conforming to the sound of the moment, instead building upon skills honed over years of touring to create something that is unquestionably greater than the sum of the individual parts. Mix in a year of cancelled shows replaced with focused practice and writing, and you have a whole new album before you can say coronavirus. “Your Neighbors Are Failures” begins like a roller coaster, straps you in, gives you a hint of what’s about to come and then explodes with driving, thunderous songs that take you, at times by force, on a ride through more emotional ups and downs than a summer blockbuster.
And just who the hell are these guys? The band consists of Jeff Tirabassi, Dan Yemin, Matt Ryan, Kevin Sommerville and Tim Singer.