This is a review of "Good To Be Back" recorded by Middleman. The review was written by Alexander Rennie in 2007.
These guys truly are caught in the middle - between carefully de-glamourized Streets-style urbanism on the one hand, and tightly coiled guitar rock on the other. There is a brilliantly poppy middle path to be trod between the two, however, as they demonstrated on their previous offering 'Blah Blah Blah'. This effort isn't quite so infuriatingly catchy, but it still present further evidence in defence of this particular genre straddling. It's a furiously paced sub-three minute insight into the joys of the familiar; lean and punchy, but not necessarily one that will have you nipping back to the turntable for immediate repeat plays.
The B-side ' (And I Love My) Friends' is a more complex beast, featuring some curious multi-layered vocals (including a female android and a retro speech synthesizer, so far as I can tell.) It's a far less immediate hit than the lead track, but after a few plays it's a curiously rewarding listen. The press notes' description of "sky sized choruses" might be slightly overblown, but if you're listening to this with your best mates at 5am after the wine has been flowing freely then you'll undoubtedly end up in an emotional group hug. All in all this is points the way to further good things to come from one the better Leeds bands of the moment.