The first thing to be noted about Brooders‘ self-titled debut Mini LP is how pertinent everything sounds to the modern-day music scene we find ourselves in. With the success of Slaves, Frank Carter, Savages and a whole host of other such malcontents who have been not-so-quietly voicing their anger at current affairs for quite a few years now, it shouldn’t be surprising that a grunge trio based in Leeds are presenting the same sort of raw, angst-ridden energy that was once confined to the grunge and punk acts of past decades.
It’s still quite something to behold though. The debut album-of-sorts from the former duo known as Hunny is so full to the brim with power, rage and ferocity that it leads one to assume that their previous mantle can only have been an ironic joke. The record suits the new name down to the ground. From opener Thrill Killer comes screaming out the darkness a vicious two minutes of music, with thrashing percussion from Liam Naylor, an infectious, restless hook from Adam Speare, and an abandon in Adam Bairstow’s vocals that’s inescapable and irrepressible.
The grunge, garage and ’90s revival attitude is notable throughout the album, with gut-punching choruses and heavy, heavy basslines a common theme. What is surprising however is the delicacy and control with which Brooders can manipulate a song. The verses of Say Your Prayers are almost ethereal – with glittering guitar and smooth vocals lulling us into a false sense of security between choruses, before an emphatic crescendo of a finale. Haze, by contrast, is menacing from the start. The earworm of a guitar lick has few phrases, and accompanied by Bairstow’s deep vocals, it makes for a primal affair – one to mosh to, most certainly.
The final two songs take us out in style. With more shimmering guitar on Blue Eyed Prince, and Melancholy a triumphant, teeth-baring, beast of a final track. For a debut effort, it’s impressive indeed, and a tantalising look at what’s to come from this Leeds trio. If their next outing is as assured as this one, then – as Bairstow puts it on Melancholy – “Close your eyes and count to ten”, because Brooders will arrive sooner than you think.
You can order the Brooders‘ EP here.
Brooders‘ live dates can be found below:
Sat 11 – Record Junkee, Sheffield
Fri 24 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Sat 01 – Old School House, Barnsley
Words by Ben Kitto