Album Review :
The Constellation Branch - The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass

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Artist: The Constellation Branch
Album: The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass
Label: N/A
Reviewer: Stephen M

  1. The Dream Life
  2. The Real Life (American Earth)
  3. The Empty Glass (Zero equals zero)
  4. Ellipses
  5. The False Awakening Pt. 1: Prelucidity
  6. The False Awakening Pt. 2: The Carnival
  7. The False Awakening Pt. 3: Poisoned Apple
  8. Re-Creation in Sleep
  9. Electric Light (The Foreshadow Future Anthem)
  10. Black Hole
  11. The Dream Sequence

The Constellation Branch is a four-piece out of Phoenix, Arizona  that has put together a unique 11 track CD that can be compared mewithoutYou, Radiohead and Sunny Day Real Estate. I found it hard to compare TCB to another band because they stand-out a lot in this genre and sound different than anything I have listened to. Musically this album is put together well and has a very distinctive sound. They involve a lot of depth into each song lyrically and musically – they know how to bring each song to an epic climax with an eccentric vibe.

While listening to TCB you almost need to listen with a set headphones or with a top quality sound system because there are so many intricate layers. The way they blend all the different parts together – the lone voice of Jordan or the guitars, piano, keys, bass, drums or violin – all make for a unique, indistinguishable sound.

The CD is titled The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass. The album title is referring to three things – the dream life which is what we are hoping for, the real life which includes corporations, greed, and how the world really is, and the empty glass which is us, and what we choose to fill ourselves with. This is one of the things I admire most about this band – the deep philosophy behind the lyrics and emotions of their music.

In order for me to fully understand the emotions, lyrics and back story behind this album, I had to do quite a bit of research – when I discovered the story behind it all, it was touching. The song titled “The False Awakening PTIII: Poisoned Apple” is a song that features the voice of an older German lady which almost sounds like it is dubbed from an old movie or something. In actuality the voice belongs to one of the band member’s (Bryce) Grandma. He recorded her story two years ago when she was talking about the war. Her family was an anti-Nazi family and she told Bryce some incredible stories about how they always made it through as a family together. In another song “The Real Life (American Earth)” they sing about the possessions and raw human emotions of the world, “We are the sky scrapers! We are the cash makers! We are better than you!” Lyrically this is one of the most moving and profound pieces of work I have come across.

If you want to hear a new sound of talented indie/rock band with a deep philosophical message behind the lyrics, I highly recommend The Constellation Branch’s CD titled The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass.