As teased in our H.806DIY. new label presentation earlier this year, the acclaimed “This May Hurt A Bit” EP by BITTER BRANCHES returns with yet another re-release, this time presented by Ugly and Proud Records and Shove Records, who have teamed up for a special European vinyl release this Summer. Recorded by Mike Bardzik at Noisy Little Critter/Downingtown, PA in March 2020, and concluded three days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire world, the EP was released on Bandcamp and quickly picked up by Atomic Action Records! for US vinyl release, Ugly and Proud for EU cassette release, and Swedish label H.806.DIY for a CD release.
Fronted by Tim Singer of Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye, and No Escape, Bitter Branches also features members of Walleye and Calvery, but bring a noisy and somewhat discordant brand of punk and indie that tosses elements of Black Flag, The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and early Soundgarden and Nirvana into a blender.
BITTER BRANCHES are: Tim Singer (Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye, No Escape), Jeff Tirabassi (Walleye), Matt Ryan (Calvary), Kevin Sommerville (Lighten Up!), and Brian Kantorek (Go! for the Throat, The Curse).
To celebrate, we have teamed up with the band to get their thoughts on this amazing project, and share a quick track by track commentary below.
“The CV-19 virus certainly had an impact on us.” – comments Jeff Tirabassi.
“First and foremost it created untenable situations for families world wide. Plus, it caused our EP recording session to be terminated before we finished vocals for all the songs. Thankfully, Tim did scratch vocals for that one and Bardzik did his magic to piece it together and made it work seamlessly.
Secondly, our first show was cancelled and no more shows were scheduled until just recently. That said, it allowed us a year of non-stop rehearsal time to write and record a new single and LP.
So, within a little over a year we wrote and recorded 16 original songs and two covers, which is pretty remarkable. Details for this release and our new label partner and scheduled shows are coming in early August.”
As a package, Bitter Branches holds promise to take their experience from the hardcore punk scene and reapply it to a modern situation, to encompass an overall frustration that lies dormant in the political and interpersonal nature of people whose lives are affected by disease, systemic practices, and poverty. It takes a contemporary climate of chaos and uncertainty and responds to it in a human and realistic fashion. Bearing much promise to the inspiration of such projects and the necessity for musical action which speaks to all of our experiences. / Stereokiller
The New Jersey band Deadguy released exactly one album, 1995’s Fixation On A Co-Worker. That album is a straight-up classic of punishing riffs and bad feelings. Deadguy were on Victory Records, the same label that gave us Earth Crisis and Snapcase and Integrity and Hatebreed, and they came from that same raw-throated, roaring ’90s metallic hardcore school. But Deadguy also clearly picked up a few tricks from the dense, angular noise-rock of that era. They sounded like angry, disturbed people. 25 year later, former Deadguy frontman Tim Singer, who’s also spent time in bands like Kiss It Goodbye and No Escape, has resurfaced with a new band called Bitter Branches. The band also features veterans of bands like Calvary, Go For The Throat, and Walleye, and they make the same sort of grimy, intense, dark hardcore that made Deadguy so fascinating. If anything, Bitter Branches draws even more on confrontational ’90s scuzz-rockers like the Jesus Lizard and Unsane. / Stereogum
Track by track commentary:
Snakes: Whether it’s religion or politics or whatever, we collectively seem to fall for con men selling snake oil. And we do it on an alarming scale. And we open our wallets and close our minds to the benefit of all these false prophets. And we’re all paying the price.
Bad Cold: words can hurt and cause damage as much as the best punch
Her Disease: She’s dying. We know it. We all need to feel uncomfortable so we maybe get some shit done. The clock is ticking. We need a sense of urgency.
Party Mode: Half of the world has gone clearly insane. How do you build bridges? How do you meet people halfway when what they stand for so clearly toxic and dangerous and bigoted etc
Broiler: The constant worry about measuring up. this world constantly moves the finish line. We all have that feeling of coming up short. If you don’t, I don’t believe you.
Asked about their other projects, Jeff says: “Tim and I curated a comp that will be released by Hellminded and Atomic Action! Records later this summer to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
“It will include exclusive tracks from Easy Prey, Exhalants, School Drugs, Be Well, Faim, Truth Cult, Colonial Wound, Therapy, Gel, Every Scar Has A Story, Multicult, HIRS Collective, Crossed Keys, Rid Of Me, Dead Torches, Fashion Week, Faking. Not included on the comp but bands that are close to us are Model Prisoner and Wrong War.”
Asked for some more inspirations, the band compiled a special Spotify playlist!
Comments Jeff: “This playlist helped act as a “Muses” guide for me while we were writing the upcoming LP. After we completed the EP, I started to compile songs from bands that I felt would help focus our group collaboration for writing the follow-up LP. And once you listen to both this playlist and the LP, I think you’ll hear how this all makes sense.”