Song: Filth Band:Branch Circus Location: Perth, Australia Date of Release: 23/10/2015 Genre: Post hardcore/Metal Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: letlive, Emarosa
Over the last twelve months we’ve seen an interesting trend emerge within the Australian scene. More and more bands are beginning to throw off the shackles of their respective genres, making music with a more stripped-back approach to creativity, with less pretension. The days of riding on the coattails of popular successors has more or less come to an end. In the wonderful days of the all-knowing internet world, you will get cut down before you even have time to inflict your horrible brand of progressive metalcore, or whatever, upon the world. Probably by IPHYB. You just won’t survive.
This is a symptom of a collective sigh from everyone — we’re getting to a point where almost everything that can be done in modern heavy music in this country has been done, and we’re screaming out for something different, something more “real”. It’s been delivered of late with commercially successful records such as Ire by Parkway Drive, Aesthesis by Dead Letter Circus – albums outside the square. We’ve also seen bands that are starting to make a name for themselves as the newcomers, part of the new wave of heavy Australian music. She Cries Wolf, Hellions, Ocean Grove, the list goes on – and you can now confidently add Perth band Branch Circus, and a worthy contender for one of the most promising acts I have heard in a long time.
The versatility in vocalists Jonothan “Johnson” Donoghue’s voice is a binding influence on the song, leading it like a true frontman. All too often in this genre the vocals are rendered almost irrelevant to the instrumentation, but Branch Circus show they know how to accentuate their strengths in the composition. From the harsh screams of the beginning to the nu-metal-esque yells, through to the soaring cleans in the chorus, down to the more on key yells and high screams before the second chorus – showcasing his talent and diversity as a vocalist perfectly.
The song is almost flawless in terms of structure – the variations before the choruses, bridge sections and slight progressive elements contained throughout provide an intricacy to the composition that leaves you coming back for multiple listens. It’s all solidly put down, with the recurring elements of running lead progressions, high screams, and, of course, the blinding chorus stapling down the song.
And that’s what it’s all really about here, folks. The chorus. I am a true sucker for a strong, soaring chorus. It’s one of those fundamental elements to a song, a building block of the genre that has served to push it out of the obscure and into the relative mainstream. It would be silly to compare Branch Circus to some more established chorus-slayers such as letlive., for example, but my hopes for this band and their talent for composition and groove driven songwriting is set high – all I can say is that I am genuinely excited for what will come next from this young and exciting band.