You can’t beat a bit of raw, energetic punk rock and that’s what Glasgow’s Miami Monroe deliver in an abundance – it’s loud, fast, big and hugely entertaining.
The five-piece of Brendan McAleer (lead vocals), Jordan Daly (vocals and guitars), Stuart MacDonald (guitars), Jamie Balsillie (bass) and Jonathan Mollins (drums) have taken the classic sound of the likes of the pop-punk heyday and given it their own catchy spin.
As lead singer Brendan tells us: “We would describe the Miami Monroe sound as noughties alternative pop-punk with a modern twist, like a sort of Weezer or Blink 182 on steroids! We very much consider ourselves a live band, and put everything we’ve got into shows. We’re getting tighter each gig! Who knows, maybe eventually we won’t sound like a bunch of moany seagulls live? We hope…”
The Miami Monroe story began with childhood friends and guitarists Jordan and Stuart. Jordan wrote ten or so songs and ran them by Stuart, then they discovered drummer Jonathan and rehearsed those songs for around a year. They then “found” singer Brendan on a drunken night out, hit it off immediately and, after going through a few bass players, found Jamie when he stepped in to save the day at their debut gig, and stuck around for good.
The band released second EP Miami Monroe EP last month, which unveiled a heavier, punkier sound that is chocked full of fun, punk rock tracks.
Lead singer Brendan McAleer told us: “This new EP has been a real growing point for all of us, lyrically and musically. The lyrics have so much more meaning and passion behind them. Musically we have become a lot more technical and we strive to make really good songs, we literally tuned some songs down for a heavier feel as it just sounded better. The EP is full of hooks and catchy chorus lines for you to sing along to and will have you dancing before you know it.”
The EP kicks off with a building intro track that is spat out by a fun, choppy, punky intro to opener Wookie Rookie. Huge smashes of drums drive the track forward as classic punk chords and solos support Brendan’s trademark high-pitched, yet raspy punky vocals. It’s a classically fun, singalong punk track which is brought to a close by a fun guitar solo, big drum roll that leads into a slow interlude, repeats of “We’ve got some shit to say about you” before one big final chorus.
Happy As Larry starts with some high-pitched guitar chords then a funky riff and driving drums that lead into vocals supported by palm-muted guitars. That’s followed by a great, typically punky, singalong chorus. Check it out in the strobe lighty video below:
Next up, I Don’t Care At All sounds like classic Green Day, with big powerchords supporting fast-paced vocals with breakneck drums in support, making this a really fun track that you can’t help but bounce your head along with.
But perhaps my favourite track on the record is Same Old Story, which starts out with a cool little guitar riff then drops into a slow opening verse. A smash of drums leads into more upbeat guitar chords and more animated vocals, then a heavier, really catchy chorus followed by a cool mini guitar riff. A cool little guitar breakdown follows, then a mini drum roll launches into a choppy, then flowing guitar solo before one last rendition of the chorus.
The EP closes out with the lively Things Only Get Worse, which starts with a fast-paced blitz of powerchords and energetic opening verse and chorus. There’s a brief lull before a gradually building guitar chords lead into one last blast to bring the record to an excellent ending.
Brendan told us: “The Miami Monroe ‘sound’ is still to be determined. We have changed so much and grown so much in the past two years as a band. We have just recently done our first ever tour and it couldn’t have gone any better! We have just released a brand new EP which is available on Spotify, iTunes etc, and we hope to record a few new singles very soon, play some more shows outside of Glasgow and do another tour.”
We recently interviewed a great Glasgow band that has quit the rock scene, in Yashin, so we asked Brendan on his thoughts on the city’s music scene. He said: “As far as we know the punk rock scene in Glasgow is pretty tight! We play with the same bands quite a lot so there’s always a really class feeling of community and togetherness with it. There’s definitely plenty of hidden gems up here to check out!”
Miami Monroe are a really fun band, who we think you’re going to love if you long for the good old pop-punk days of Blink, Sum 41 and co. It’s high on energy, big on sound, and huge on entertainment, so go give these guys a listen.