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Benzos: Branches

Branches, the second record from Benzos, aims to throw musical conventions out the window and set them adrift on shimmering dreamscapes. And by blending the ambience and rhythm of early underground dance and experimental electronic music with chiming, echo-laden guitars in Keane and Coldplay fashion, this New York-based quartet should capture the imaginations of the under-25 hipster crowd. But the over-30 progressive-rock fan? Not so much.

Benzos, which also draws comparisons to Doves, Explosions in the Sky and Aphex Twin, makes music that relies on sprawling atmospherics over song structures. But when "Hard to Feel" (one of the album's best tracks) momentarily bursts into power chords, Benzos could be accused of trying to sound like a dull imitation of Porcupine Tree. The band quickly reverts, however, to songs that merge into each other, applying lush but ultimately sleepy arrangements that seem to repeat themselves during the course of 55 rather long minutes.

Track Listing:
1) Sell This Thing
2) Phase 2
3) Branches
4) Portland
5) Hard to Feel
6) Teach Me
7) On Your Own
8) Life
9) Hurt Everybody
10) Crooked Hands
11) Translucent
12) Pere

Added: August 24th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Benzos Web Site
Hits: 1781
Language: english

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