As someone who’s known local Leeds outfit Brooders on a personal level since I played a show with them back when they were called Hunny, I was eager to check out their self-titled EP. What I discovered on initial listen was a clear progression from their previous Hunny EP, with their previously indie-tinged riffs getting heavier and more grunge-infused, their softer side more emotive and melodious.
The EP starts out with the blistering ‘Thrill Killer’. One of the band’s heaviest tracks so far, it combines an infectious, grungy riff with vocals that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Frank Carter record, to create a memorable experience. This is then contrasted with ‘Cling’, as well as ‘Say Your Prayers’, which expand on their grunge-influences in a ballad that shows the band’s mastery of their craft, retaining their heavy, punk-infused elements particularly in the second half of the song.
The following track ‘Haze’ – one of the initial singles from the EP – displays the band’s performance and musicianship at its best, combining the heavy ear worms that the group have perfected with a catchy chorus that marks itself as one of the most memorable moments of the EP. In contrast to the rest of the EP, Brooders ends on a slower note, with the dulcet vocals on ‘Blue Eyed Prince’ cementing the track as one of the more well-crafted on the EP.
The final track, ‘Melancholy’, was personally the only track that I felt fell short of the rest of Brooders’ output. Although a track that channels the band’s grunge influence nicely, it didn’t stand out in the same way the rest of the tracks did. Despite this, Brooders’ self-titled EP was a release that genuinely surprised me; although young, Brooders are definitely a band that show veteran musicianship well beyond their age.
Hopefully the next year or so will see them gain more national recognition, and from there who knows where they could go.