Monkey in the Middle – A Brand New Start (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You have to wonder why so many bands still expend so much energy chasing that elusive record contract when the timing and technology are perfect for setting-up your own label, releasing your music yourself and just doing things your own way. It’s what Brooklyn’s A Brand New Start has done and their first single is a bit of a cracker.

Playing with the familiarity and groove of classic rock and the structures and swagger of more alternative rock sounds, Monkey in the Middle is the perfect marriage of rock tradition and modern sonic exploration. It runs on a staccato guitar riff surrounded by ever-increasing drum weight and growing, and indeed growling, sonic tensions, slow-burning its way from a spacious and deftly crafted piece into explosive crescendoes and brooding atmospheres.

As a calling card for this new venture, it is perfect, it marks the band out as being unconcerned by fad and fashion, preferring to create their own signature sound, and it is a sound full of attitude and swagger, is loaded with grunt and groove and which sets them apart from most of the rest of the rock ‘n’ roll pack.

Why follow the old sonic templates? Why stick to the old methods of navigating your way through the music industry? Better to make the music that you want to make, embrace the DIY ethos and be the record label that caters to your own specific needs. It’s what A Brand New Start has done and they make it seem effortless.

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