It’s fair to say it’s been a hell of a year for MuddiBrooke, having nabbed some incredible support slots, by all accounts going down a storm on the Jägermeister stage at Bloodstock, and the release of their last single “Cellar”. But the year isn’t over, they’ve got shows with Sleep in Motion coming up soon, another show with The Virginmarys (after having played four over a month), and the release of their latest single, “ADHD”.
This is single which shows off another side of the Derbyshire trio. Given they lie primarily in alt rock and grunge with “Cellar” being a filthy, gritty rocker, this shows a more punk-driven side to them. As a short, sharp blast at two and a half minutes, it’s pointedly direct as Brooke lays bare some of the symptoms that come with ADHD. With a razor sharp guitar from Brooke, it’s in your face combined with the screaming repeat of “ADHD” which is as close as the song gets to a chorus and where the song really leans into the punk song with its gang-style vocal work. It’s this section which is deliberate and focused, determined not to be distracted whilst drummer Morgan Pettigrew’s cowbell is up extremely high in the mix, bordering on dissonant that you can’t help but be drawn to it and is reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age’s use of jam block on “Little Sister”.
Meanwhile, on the verses, the words spill forth in a flow of consciousness at a rapid pace that it’s hard to keep up, reflecting where the mind sits with a person with such a diagnosis. However, they’ve also managed to slip in a more human element towards the end with hints of self-doubt and anxiety. Vocally, Brooke delivers it in a multitude of attitudes between demanding, matter-of-fact and frustration with screams punctuating the finale.
Elsewhere, the marching rhythm from Morgan keeps the song steady as if trying to keep things on track. However, when the song kicks it up a notch, he lets loose and it’s not so much that he matches the intensity of the guitar but quite the opposite – the guitar rises to match him. It’s a brutal assault that he’s able to unshackle and is able to show the true finesse of his playing. He locks in seamlessly with bassist Anna Melidone, her bassline fatter than an Argos catalogue in the mid-2000s. It rumbles along whilst deftly swerving round Morgan’s drum work, simultaneously backing him up with hints of fuzz fleshing it out even further. Tonally, it’s dark and menacing as the band starts going up through the gears, the intensity building like a powder keg ready to explode.
Whilst it’s always important to highlight the different conditions humans can face, it’s very rare for a song to cover something other than depression, anxiety or, at a push, PTSD (very important conditions regardless). So for a band to cover something so different and still lots to uncover about it, it should not only bring some awareness to ADHD but allow others who have been diagnosed with it to feel seen – even more so with it being released during ADHD awareness month. “ADHD” is MuddiBrooke’s finest piece of work to date. It shows growth and maturity as songwriters and as a band, making a song so ridiculously catchy that there’s so many sections which will get stuck in your head. If they can continue this trend of constantly creating better songs, their continued ascendancy is all but guaranteed.
Header image by Jason Bridges
“ADHD” is released on 20th October