Monday, July 24, 2017

Trenton-bred & Philly-based Brackish Revive Early 2000's "Pop-Punk"/Screamo On Coming Down EP In Memory of Fallen Guitarist Chris Baranowski (Black Numbers Records)



Brackish are a "Pop-Punk"/Screamo revival band hailing from Trenton, NJ and are currently based out of Philly—think Take This to Your Grave-era Fall Out Boy. Brackish attest they make "songs you can sit in your room and listen to" and readily list "burritos, tacos, chimichangas, and sandwiches" as Band Interests on their Facebook page. Brackish frontman and guitarist Connor Byrne, oddly enough, was introduced to by my older cousin (who also hails from North Jersey) and is also Facebook Friends with Evan "Darko The Super" Souza, Raymond "Ray" Strife, and Lt Headtrip. It appears as though I was put into contact with Connor because of this June 27 Facebook call-to-action: "Heyyyy, do you know a radio station/blog/podcast that might be interested in covering the Brackish record? Let me know." When asked how they knew @LtHeadtrip @DarkoTheSuper & @RaymondStrife, @brackishtheband simply replied: "Local music in Philly led us to @DarkoTheSuper, but we are all from Trenton, NJ, essentially; hence, @RaymondStrife (just saw'm!) & @LtHeadtrip." Brackish's second and latest EP, Coming Down was released earlier this past month on July 7th on Jersey City-based Black Numbers and is available in either Digital Album or Coming Down Flexi-Picture Disc 7-inch (with lyric sheet) formats.


"Brackish was formed by Connor Byrne and Nick Rosica in the spring of 2015. Joined by Chris Baranowski and Eric McConathey, Brackish released their debut EP, Young People that was pressed to tape by Good Sadie Media in October 2015. In the summer of 2016, Brackish recorded a 7-inch entitled Coming Down, out via Black Numbers on 7/7/2017," reads part of Brackish's emailed press release. "After the recording of Coming Down, lead guitarist Chris Baranowski tragically passed away and drummer Eric McConathey announced his amicable departure from the band. Since then, close friends Tim Fitzpatrick and Zach Miller have joined on lead guitar and drums. The newest iteration of Brackish is hard at work writing a debut full-length album slated for release in 2018." Brackish mysteriously tagged their Coming Down EP as bauhaus, diy, punk, black numbers, goth, industrial, and Philadelphia on Bandcamp; although, through Coming Down's three quick-strike tracks, I'm often reminded of early 2000's NJ/Long Island Punk bands like Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Thursday, Glassjaw, and Brand New, as well as The Used, early Fall Out Boy, and New Found Glory. Brackish frontman Connor Byrne readily cites Saves The Day, Lifetime, The Get Up Kids, Mineral, and Thursday as "big influences" while writing and recording Coming Down EP. Byrne further detailed that Brackish have an acoustic gig at The Living Room Cafe in South Philly scheduled for tomorrow night, 7/25 with Hemingway from Oregon, Kevin Day of Aspiga, and John Bradley of Dads. Plus, in August, Brackish currently have a "Weekender Tour" booked with Greg Mendez (FKA Spiritweed) taking place 8/19-20 at Asbury Park Brewery and West Philly's Hole Foods (event link TBA) also featuring Ragged Lines, Prim, Clique, and steve.


"Coming Down is very special to us. Working with Andy Clarke and Tom May on these songs at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia was an incredibly positive experience and the album that come to be in result matches that. With the passing of our friend Chris Baranowski, the album commemorates the good times we had together and unique style he had on guitar. I'll always treasure the instrumental ending of the title track "Coming Down." Growing up together, we shared a love for the Post-Hardcore stylings of the Japanese band Envy and the Screamo bands of that era. The "wall of noise" that occurs at the end of "Coming Down" was something we were elated to finally do for ourselves after years of dreaming ourselves into that scenario as teenagers. With Andy Clarke at the board, Chris and I felt like kids in a candy shop creating huge delay noises, buzzsaw synths, and furious guitar strums. I'm genuinely so appreciative that memory is recorded."

- Connor Byrne (Brackish frontman)

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