Hailing from Bournemouth but now living Bristol comes Muncle with their debut full-length CD. I say “their”, Muncle is a one man band in the form of Mike Griffiths.

With a sound that blends an Indie/Alt feel with a Rock vibe, there is more than just a DIY homebrew attitude going on here. Managing to pull in shades of Punk and Grunge this is an album that should appear on a number of Summer playlists.

Opening with the inviting “Kick Up A Fuss” the scene is set with its guitar and explosive tempo, and catchy riffs as the chorus kicks in. Preparing you for “Man Alive” has a punchy opening that soon drops to a basic backdrop; as the vocals take centre stage, ready for the guitars to kick back in. It is easy to imagine this track being performed by a three piece, spitting with attitude and energy as they bend the strings. Did I mention this is a one man band?

Things take a slight twist as “Ostrich” kicks in with a quirky rhythm, as the bassline takes over in some of the sections. While being a little more poppier, this is quirky enough to stand proud above any perceived Pop peers (amusingly there is a nice sampled little Pop buried in the track).

“Glass To The Wall” has a frenetic guitar intro and an almost military drumbeat, that subsides into the background as the vocals take on an almost spoken stance – before the guitars kick back in with their energy. With some soaring passages, this is an easy track to get lost in!

“Chicken Or Egg” opens in an undeniable Punk attitude as the title is just repeated over and over to a very punchy backdrop (ever seen the video for this?). That evolves into some harmonies, and heavy guitar – but no further vocals! The chaos continues with a brief bit of electronic wizardry as the vocals kick back in, screaming the title. Not necessarily the strongest track on the album, but one to make you sit up and pay attention as it closes with a gentle organ passage.


“My Shadow” returns the proceedings to normality(?), with its gentle guitar intro and vocals that wash around you. This is an acoustic number at complete odds with the tracks that preceded it, showing off his abilities to a tee. The ambiance created while totally catching you off guard, also completely envelops you; and its laid bare approach totally wins you over.

While “Obituary” opens with some controlled feedback and a rising drum intro. Building up the energy to fall back, to some vocals that have a Grunge feel. As the tempo builds back up for the chorus it drops for the verse sections.

“Baker’s Blues” opens in a quirky style as the guitar stabs at you, accented by the punchy rhythm. Again it shows off the soaring tempo, blending in some acoustic work with the guitar work.

Then there is “Mother Was Right”, a more punchy track with an addictive rhythm that keeps your foot tapping and a slightly heavier guitar that keeps the energy up. With the addition of some vocal harmonies to offset the harder edge to the guitar work, this lines itself to be one of the standout tracks on the album.

“Green Man” opens to a soundscape and some gentle guitar, that is soon smashed as the electric guitar comes in. However; this is not just a high tempo track as the powerful sections are punctuated by the vocal passages, which turn the track around.

Throughout you cannot escape the slightest feel of a DIY-cum lo-fi approach, but that raw edge just adds to the proceedings as the guitars edge and push you on; as if baiting you into action. Don’t get me wrong, this does not sound like it was recorded in a garage. Throughout the varying styles, there is a constant feel that everything has been worked on and carefully produced to get that Muncle sound. Couple this with some thought provoking lyrics there is more than plenty to like about this album and a superb debut album at that. I found it required more than one listen, if only to get everything to click. It is well worth checking out. Did I mention one man band? Well, there was help with some collaborators, see the video below – however; this alone makes it one ambitious project, and one that feels as if it has been pulled off with apparent ease.

“Hot Brain” was released on the 20th July and is available from iTunes, GooglePlay, and SoundCloud.

Track Listing
Kick up a Fuss
Man Alive
Glass to the Wall
Chicken or Egg (including organ outro)
My Shadow
Baker’s Blues
Mother was Right
Green Man


Words by the Department of Late Reviews (Jon).

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