The Dear Hunter
Branches


3.5
great

Review

by Elijah K. STAFF
October 29th, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


As a fairly rabid fan of The Dear Hunter, every little announcement gets me fairly excited. Whether it be the announcement of an ambitious set of EP’s, each representing its own color, or the announcement of a new addition to their “Acts” series, when The Dear Hunter speak, I listen. This leads me to the declaration of their newest work, “The Branches EP.” Said EP had little to no buildup to its release, as it was merely a minor extra the band threw in for those who ordered their “Lifetime Fan Package.” And really, that’s what the EP boils down to, an affair strictly for the fans.

At three songs in length, “The Branches EP” is short, but sweet. A morsel, rather than an actual feast, the EP is merely a few songs from the band, plain and simple. But for fans, any little release is still something to celebrate, and “The Branches EP” really doesn’t disappoint. And how could it? With such a low key release, the EP was destined for obscurity, finding its way to the very few who would acquire it. With absolutely no hype to back it, the release needs not be an ideal one, but rather, a small celebration of a band at the height of their careers.

Yet when I say this is strictly for the fans, I say that wholeheartedly. As far as The Dear Hunter releases go, “The Branches EP” is fairly tame. The epically bombastic passages mixed with cool jazz and extravagant swing simply are not here. Instead, the EP features the more alternative rock side of the band, with lower key songs, and a slightly more simplistic song structure. And this is really the EP’s biggest failing. As far as releases go, “The Branches EP” is the least representative piece the band has put out. The songs are great, albeit not as catchy, and they are easily listenable and enjoyable.

However, “B. Linus” offers up an incredibly strong listen, as it is the most catchy on the EP. Per the usual, Casey Crescenzo does an awesome job in the vocal department. With a lot of variation, Crescenzo can get the highs and lows, and the louds and softs with absolute finesse, an the opening track is very representative of this. The next track, “Isabella,” opens up in a more minimalist fashion, featuring a subdued guitar and airy croon. In typical Dear Hunter fashion, this lasts only for a bit, leading into a much more grandiose section. More post-hardcore in its execution, “Isabelle” is a little more different from its predecessor. The third and final song, “Owls,” is a little quirkier than the other two, but is ultimately the weakest. It offers some neat percussion work, with small hits of a xylophone interlaced with the guitars, but is incredibly flat as a whole. It stays at the same tempo and dynamic level throughout, and doesn’t really go anywhere. Regardless, it is still an interesting track, yet it falls short of anything else the band has done.

“The Branches EP” is a nifty release, as it is fun and wholly enjoyable, but harmless nonetheless. While it is a nice love letter to the fans, as an individual release, it simply does not match the success of their previous releases.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Josh D.
October 29th 2010


13975 Comments


Didn't know about this.

JustJoe
October 29th 2010


1399 Comments


You are a review machine, Xenophanes. Machine.

Gyromania
October 29th 2010


17598 Comments


Solid review, Elijah, definitely worthy of a pos. Also, I applaud you for using the word 'nifty' in your review =P

JubJub12
October 29th 2010


24 Comments


TREOS> TDH

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2010


19179 Comments


woo underground sputniker review, i'm a sputnik user hipster bitches

pos

Foxhound
October 29th 2010


4570 Comments


low key sputnikers are like... the fucking amazingest, pos

Foxhound
October 29th 2010


4570 Comments


It offers some neat percussion work, with small hits of a "xylophone"


I hope you understand what you must do.

Foxhound
October 29th 2010


4570 Comments


when this review gets bumped off the front page change the word xylophone with xenophanes. it is clever and slightly funny, or at least i think things like that are but idk

crazyblinddude
October 29th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh cool. Someone wrote a review for this. Nice job. This is a nice little release from these guys.

botb
October 30th 2010


10038 Comments


holy shit why did i not know about this

Oceanus
October 30th 2010


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

B. Linus is certainly my favorite.

drevans18
October 30th 2010


23 Comments


I absolutely love Casey and TDH, but how did I not know about this?

Waior
October 30th 2010


11531 Comments


listened to this last week. it's okay. good ideas, i like the catchiness of the beginning of b. linus but on a whole

meh

Winsomniac
October 30th 2010


8091 Comments


Yeah, this was a very big meh for me.


And I'm a rather large TDH Fanboy. :/

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 1st 2012


22009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If the song titles of 'The Branches EP' are anything to go by, then it seems that the tv series 'Lost' may have been the instigator to derail The Dear Hunter's conceptual series of "Acts". Predominantly consisting of straight-ahead alt-rock, much of the band's progressive tendencies are put on the shelf during these 12 minutes, with the now quintet almost sounding like a rockier version of Coldplay at times. Some of the melodic passages work well, even if none of the 3 tracks are entirely successful. They are about equal in quality, but if pressed, Ben would persuade me to say that 'B.Linus' is the best. A solid EP, but more a collector's item for fans.

Digging: Westkust - Last Forever

Oceanus
March 1st 2012


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

B. Linus is really the best here, DaveyBoy, I dunno what you're talking about.



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