While the self-titled debut from Chicago's Branches is uneven, it's also diverse, as evidenced by the band's ability to veer from style to style. Bouncing from subdued instrumentals like the set opener to Shins-like pop and on to Malkmus-minded mid-'90s slacker rock, these guys could be too diverse to find a proper audience. If you're pining for the return to the glory days of indie rock, "Slammer," the fuzz-chorded "Dusty Grits," and the wry "Match Makin' Beats" are right up your alley. For parts of its 34 minutes, Branches draws on folk-rock, hippie funk, jazz touches, and dork pop without sticking to one subgenre. This amalgam works really well -- as evidenced by the pop swoon of "(Save It for A) Cold and Rainy Day" -- but infrequently. While Branches are a capable, promising, and inventive band (dig those chimes on "Mary Gets Around"), one hopes these lads figure out who they want to be and conquer the world.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen