2nd December 2022 saw the release of debut EP Cut Out The Middleman by London’s MIDDLEMAN. The EP was recorded at Walthamstow’s Fuzzbrain Studios by Ben Spence and mixed and mastered by Jonah Falco (Fucked Up, Career Suicide) who along with Steve Lamacq were early admirers of the band. MIDDLEMAN have been playing shows on the DIY hardcore/punk scene since 2021 with the likes of Island of Love, Powerplant ,Glitterer, High Vis and Rixe.
‘Train Man’ opens with a 100mph riff that leads to Alves’ spat out vocals (that remind me of early Damned Dave Vanian) and solid frenetic drum and bass accompaniment from Maury and Pym. Already I know that this is going to be GOOD stuff. The chorus is more melodic and veers into noisy Dinosaur Jr shredding territory. Impressive opener.
‘Turn Away’ takes the melodic elements from ‘Train Man’ and runs into full on hardcore Fugazi territory. This makes the band’s sound rounder and more all-encompassing I think. For three people, they make one hell of a racket and I love that. Shit this is really fucking good.
‘Entropy’ starts with another immediate and chaotic guitar riff that is taken and run with until it’s wrung dry by the drum and bass combo. This is then slowed down to a gorgeous Dinosaur Jr esque guitar soloing dirge. Again, just brilliant stuff from such a young band!
Final track ‘One Day We Will Be Strangers’ opens with a lovely melodic guitar riff that leads us into this great driving track. As it evolves (with Alves’ hurried vocals) into different directions, tempos and areas in this incredibly expansive track, you get to realise the serious potential of this band.
This EP is stunning stuff. Such a young band producing tracks of such depth and texture is rare these days. This band definitely need to be on your ‘ones to watch’ list for next year. Additionally, none of the tracks are under 3 minutes which adds to the immediacy and overall brilliance. I hate long songs!
Now excuse me whilst I purchase the cassette. Just superb stuff. There is hope.
The full EP as name your price or cassette, plus links to other releases is here.
It will also be available on all streaming platforms.
Follow MIDDLEMAN on Instagram
Vocals/Guitars: Noah Alves
Bass: Harper Maury
Drums: Lily Pym
Recorded by Ben Spence at Fuzzbrain Studios
Mixed and Mastered by Jonah Falco
Cover photo by Cole Flynn Quirke
Layout and band logo by Karim Newble
Review by @ioan_humphreys