Good To Be Back
Middleman really like their buddies. Both tracks off latest single 'Good to be back' are heartfelt homages to friendship and familiarity, skilfully crafted into pocket-sized pop/rock/electronica packages. 'Good to be back' is a stylistic step forward for the Leeds band, introducing some welcome new colours into their palette. We are treated to a lead vocal performance from bassist Lee Smith in the acapella first verse, before guitars and synth arrive in a combination recalling the Killers, making perfect sense among the elements more familiar to Middleman fans, such as Slurpy's tight-as-your-jeans drumming and Andy Craven-Griffiths' rapped second verse.
Equally satisfying is b-side 'I love my friends', which has been a highlight of the band's live set for over a year. The song gives space for Andy to show off his considerable skills as a wordsmith, with his east midlands accent flowing amiably and intelligently over a particularly (and I hope intentionally) cheap-sounding keyboard, showing a more considered side to Middleman's space-hopper-pop. The chorus just about stays the right side of sickly sweet, and will surely have lighters swaying emotionally back and forth throughout the land. Although the boys might think its 'Good to be back' among their friends in Leeds and Dr Wu's, they shouldn't get too used to it. If they continue releasing pop songs of this quality, they'll be back off on their travels again before long.