Special Branch Lethal Force 7"

  • U-034
  • 7"

Roach Leg Records takes the 2020 demo from this Dublin, Ireland project and puts it on vinyl. I’m thankful for Roach Leg’s service, because I didn’t hear about this the first time around, and there’s even a Sorry State connection since Eddie from the Number Ones is in the band. Special Branch’s songs are built on rock-solid mid-paced riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Warthog record (high praise!), and those riffs are so strong and memorable that I imagine you could put just about any kind of window dressing on them and they’d still sound good. Fortunately for us, I like the drapes Special Branch has chosen. The rough, 4-track-y production sounds great, and the songs are shot through with interesting flourishes of lead guitar, sometimes wild and dissonant and other times more structured yet still compelling (see the NWOBHM-esque intro for the title track). I also like the record’s short intro and outro, which mix droning guitar noise with traditional Irish singing, tying the music to the project’s geographical roots. Come for the fuckin’ epic riffs, stay for the art. (Sorry State)