Branch Arterial are a Melbourne band with a massive sound and some big ideas, philosophies and ambitions. And, they very much appear to possess the songwriting and instrumental chops to back them up too, if their brand new EP Voices Unknown is anything to go by.
Then there's also their intense and breathtaking live show, which takes things to another level again. Drawing influence from alternative/progressive acts such as Tool, Cog and Karnivool, they put themselves together in 2009 and have quickly established their powerful but mature alternative rock sound and their place on the local scene. But of course, the local scene is unlikely to be enough to hold these very ambitious musicians, according to Drummer Darren Hurford and Guitar player Adam Hompas.
"I think what this scene needs, from my perspective," Adam states, "is for bands to take a risk, take the plunge, a calculated risk to get out there and get over to Europe, or wherever, and really push it. And say 'we're from Australia, like it or lump it, bet here we are.' That's what it needs. I think that unfortunately some bands get a bit too complacent. That's cool if they want to do their job and then jam on the weekends, that's sweet. But, if you want to do it properly… it's great to get your base here, but branch out, it's a product so push it."
The band launch their EP this Saturday night at St Kilda's famous Espy Gershwin Room, with a host of other amazing local alternative bands. Despite the massive amounts of preparation involved in getting the show organised and making sure they are absolute dead on the money and in tip top shape musicially when they hit the stage, the guys are busting at the seams to play. They also have a few special surprises in store for punters who attend the night. "I think people can expect a very emotive performance," Adam concludes, "we're probably gonna be up there crying!" he laughs.
Beyond the launch, the band have some pretty hefty ambitions for themselves, and with the skill and determination that can be seen flowing out of them, one wouldn't bet against them achieving them. "In a way I can't wait til this year's over," Adam says, "because if we keep going the way we're going, working as hard as we are and smart, I'm looking forward to seeing where we are this time next year."
BRANCH ARTERIAL will grace the Gershwin Room stage at the Espy this Sunday March 26. Tickets are $12+bf and doors open at 8pm.