*As Brenda.

The Dreaded Press
Live review: Brenda & Munroe Effect - Basement Jaks, Portsmouth. 6th July 2008
Anyone who's ever seen Brenda before will tell you they should be huge and that you should go out of your way to see them play live; that's about half the audience here tonight, with the other half consisting of people who took the word of the first
half and came along to check them out. And it's no exaggeration to say that no one is disappointed. On sheer song-writing
talent alone, Brenda are a startling proposition, but combined with their ability to conjure up waves of shimmering noise and beds of crunching guitar they're a completely arresting experience on stage… even when, as tonight, there isn't a
stage to speak of.

Drawing on multiple influences from post-rock, post-metal and progressive forms, Brenda's music is cinematic in scope, and much heavier heard live than on record. It's no disservice to the rest of the band to say that the thing that grabs a new
listener first is Joe's voice, which has incredible range and subtlety as well as a style quite uncommon to rock music in general. I try to avoid comparative amalgams as much as possible, but trying to explain Brenda's sound without them
would take page after page of fruitless words. So when I say they sound like what you might get if Jeff Buckley came back from the dead to front for Oceansize, you'll just have to accept that's a loose approximation of convenience that does
nothing to explain the rich complexity of their work. The added bonus is Brenda's self-effacing charm, evident not just in their noholds- barred enthusiasm for playing such a tiny venue to such a small crowd, but in Joe's inter-song asides; one tune comes with a retrospective "jazz disclaimer", and later in the set there's a totally unmerited "R Kelly disclaimer" for a moody
paranoia-ballad that I suspect may have been titled "Possession". Joe may pull out all the stops with his voice, but there's none of R Kelly's sleazy pretence and egotism involved; instead, we get something that Tricky might have made had he
fallen in with rock musicians instead of hip-hoppers.

After an epic encore, Brenda and their soundman start packing away their kit as best they can in between thanks and plaudits from converts old and new alike. Gigs like this make you remember why you got into seeing music played live in the first place – the intimacy, the intensity, the sense of wonder – and you couldn't pick a better band to cap the bill. If you get the chance to see Brenda play live, be sure you do so; if afterwards you can honestly tell me you were disappointed, I'll PayPal
you the cost of your ticket.

No Ripcord
Brenda "brenda"(s/r)
By Paul Roylance
Way back in those lazy hazy crazy days of summer, when Beirut was neither 'wartorn' nor 'album of the year' (love these weary ole hack clichés), this jiffy bag arrived with an unlabelled CD-R in an open plastic sleeve with an under-inked b/w
copy of some homemade sleeve artwork and a note saying from brenda with love. I played it once or twice and thought, yeah, OK, a decent bitsa band - bitsa Sonic Youth, bitsa MBV, Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Mogwai, GY!BE, maybe a
few more - then got distracted by something or other else - Beirut probably. I've long since given up on Beirut (the band, that is - and so will you, once Christmas is over and those tiresome Pitchfork people have pitched their latest dreary instant internet sensation), but brenda stayed, and stayed, and continues staying, until it's got to the point when finally I have to admit to myself that a totally unknown band (outside their home town), unsigned, unmanaged, and - it would seem, from the touching begging notes on their MySpace (gissagig, mate) - unhired except at the occasional shoebox convention in Oxford or Southampton - has surreptitiously wormed itself so deeply into my affections that it rates up there with the Mogwais
and the Manyfingers and the Marconi Unions and the Stereolabs in my personal end-of-year best-of list.
So - in breach of all of the active protocols of the proper music sites (sue me) - here I am talking about a self-produced mini album that's only four tracks and thirty minutes long and that you won't find on iTunes no matter how hard you look Brenda is a five-piece from Bournemouth - I kid you not - Bournemouth, which, like Lytham St Annes and Broadstairs, is one of those bastions of right-wing retirees whose average resident is eighty-seven and thinks the rot at the heart of Britain began when National Service ended in 1960. God only knows what brenda's story is, but there you have it - one of the most promising bands in the UK comes from Bournemouth. That's so wrong, but I guess it had to happen sometime. The sound is referenced to all in that list up there, and more: a lineup of two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards/electronics/singer that can take the same song from singer-songwriter intimacy to huge, faux-anthemic set-piece and back with no seeming effort and with no prisoners taken. They've been together for five years. That shows in the tightness and the ease of the performance, although there was clearly an inclination towards Muse-y-ness in an earlier manifestation that's evidenced in an online-only release (Lament [A Faded Photograph]) from 2005 that I'm glad they moved on from (although the kind of shrapnel-pocked soundwall constructed at the climax of a piece such as Sub Rosa, the album's astonishing seven-minute closer, must have to be shoe-horned quite painfully into the boxes they're presently performing in).
Four tracks only, but each one a standalone standout, each with qualities quite separate from the others, making of the whole a breathtakingly huge musical quarry that, the more you excavate, the more you discover, the better it gets. From the
opening bars of the opening track - Last Tape - there's that spinecrawling feeling you get whenever something spectacular - a thunderstorm, the routing of a rabid president, the Big Brother results - is about to happen: a chugging six-bar riff that bespeaks both a cool that surpasseth all cucumberliness and a self-confidence bordering on Latin-dictator-arrogance (which is never a bad thing in a rock band). And lead singer Joe Mirza fronts with a beguiling melancholic authority that sits somewhere between Jeff Buckley and Guy Garvey, employing the sort of retro-potty-poet lyrics that go off-the-scale intriguing if you're into the sort of massively ('... my mirrored mobius desire uncoils to sweet embrace ...') intriguing lyrics associated
with guys like Morrison and Cave. Not the least impressive aspect of this impressive release, though, is the production. Self-release usually comes with a wonky raft of technical compromises, excessive knob-twiddling and self-indulgence that operates in direct proportion to the limits of cash-strapped studio time, but not here, not by a long chalk. The recording, mixing and engineering of this little gem bears as distinctive a sonic signature as an Albini or a Godrich, which makes you wonder, if they can get it this right on their own ... ?

……So here's the deal: I fully expect to see these guys doing the Union Chapel - Olympia - Beacon Theatre - Shibuya-Ax circuit within the next eighteen months, producing their debut album proper on Fat Cat or PIAS, and spending the summer
of 2008 at Glastonbury, Coachella, Roskilde, and Benicàssim - at the very least. Rant! Magazine

Brenda-The Coldest Geometry (Airbag Recordings)
By James Dazell
Filed under Music Reviews / Music / Singles || Published on Wednesday,
September 26th, 2007
I'm pleased to write about this band, I'm pleased I get to be honest. This is a band that deserves your attention. If there was ever a reason for the revival of vinyl players it's for music like this. Post-rock is term that has been around since the early nineties, from the destruction of dream-pop, and the birth of bands like Slint and God Speed. And then somebody
heard of Mogwai and that became the formula for every post-rock outfit. Approaching a genre that so quickly became very tedious and mathematical in its construction, Brenda manage to really take it to a different level. Their music isn't
about the climactic crescendo that is all so often heard through post-rock, their music keeps you guessing; erupts with a flood instruments, collapses and shies in to knots. So often a post-rock band will decide to fore go the vocals without
question, because it's so familiar, it's accepted. Admirably for the genre, not only do vocals appear in this, but these are songs, songs fit for even commercial radio play (if the minds were open to it). I don't know many British bands that do this
kind of music this well. It's refreshing and exciting for such invention on the genre to have come from England, and not Scotland or the US, where already boast the best.

I've read some strange comparisons to this band, I'm not going to confuse what this is by comparing it to other things, when I don't particularly want to demean it by calling it post-rock. Fusing electronic instruments with rock instruments in a way
that 65 never did. Sending glitch error back and forth across the speakers, interrupted by beat of a rock kit, sewn by the feedback of a guitar, cut in to by the throat-rattle of a bass guitar. Not using swirling guitars as psychedelia, but as
guitars with searing intensity, written on the wave you get when you listen to a good rock record. This is not post-rock. This is not experimental. This is rock music. This is today. It's just the rest that's so far behind.

South London Press
May 2008
By Dan Frost
Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's Brenda, one of south London's most undefinable new bands. Dan Frost talks de-constructed rock with singer Joe Mirza How do you solve a problem like Brenda? How do catch a sound and pin it down? In the case of this band, who, incidentally, have nothing in common with the Sound Of Music, it's not particularly easy. The five piece electrock genre busters seem to mash up so many influences that it makes them quite annoyingly hard to place.
However, this being a journalist's favourite nightmare, one must hazard an attempt. Starting with the music: it draws on both post and math rock, coupled with wellplaced electro traits and themes. And the vocals: never short of outstanding, the
perfectly-pitched wailing and softly-spoken emotion draws most obvious comparisons with unrivalled velveteer Jeff Buckley (a lofty comparison indeed, but an honest one). To use some cheap, popular references, it's Battles, Tortoise and
Buckley (so that's Battorbuck?). That's about as simple as I can make it, but I'd still recommend you have a listen on MySpace or check them live, as I did in New Cross last Saturday. There's a big table of electrical gadgets in front of singer Joe Mirza as Brenda take the stage. Full of knobs, wires, buttons and dials, it looks like he's just done a runner from a Bond villain's lair. It's little more to me than a big table of confusion, but an intriguing addition to the two (sometimes three) guitars,
bass, drums and vocals combo. This is essentially what Brenda is all about: doing something different with the basic rock materials...and a table of sonic death machines. "The main thing is to keep the intensity you get from rock music but to deconstruct it and see where it can go and where you can push it," Joe tells me afterwards, in an attempt to explain their curious output. "There are certain chords and a certain sound that we have been gravitating towards; a certain melancholy,
jazzy sound, often with strange beats, that I can only really associate with five slightly stoned guys in a garage. "There's a cool sound that comes out of that, that comes from me listening to techno, someone else listening to dub-step and so on.
We're trying to get as far away from rock music without losing the raw fundamentals and the intensity that it can provide.” This is a fair summation of their live show, which, while still heavy, moving and interesting, is several steps to
the left of their more formulaic post rock cousins. They are, to some extent, the next evolution of a once-progressive, now-stale, genre, bringing a more accessible side to the inventiveness of a cliquey scene. Joe's vocals are the fundamental
element here, layering welcome melody and focus over the intense and schizophrenic music. Of course, his pony-tailed good looks certainly don't hurt their live appearance or, dare I say it, their marketability (alright, enough spluttering about reducing art to mere commodity, we all live in the real world). The Dulwich-born Peckham dweller is, in fact, every inch the frontman, holding nothing back as he grabs the mic with both impassioned hands, adopting Eddie Vedder-esque poses in a way that makes Brenda appear a lot closer to trad rock than they might normally feel comfortable. Not that this really matters - it's the music, stupid! And exactly what this is may still warrant some debate. Visit to join the discussion.

Flynn's in Camden on June 27.
Single of the Week
Brenda – The Coldest Geometry (Airbag)
Diverse flights in to the ambitious fields of (mostly instrumental) post rock. Unlike so many others, Bournemouth's strangely named Brenda clearly have a desire to challenge – this is not the same old safe option post-rock by numbers that
we're hearing so much of right now. Brenda are (rather successfully) trying to find their own edge, they're challenging both themselves and their audience with their expansive sound. When they do bring in the vocals they add to the genuine
inventive beauty. Clever low-key rhythmic intervention, hopeful uplifting and gloriously dramatic - souring, evolving - something rather delicious happening here. Yes you can spot their influences, here the influences are absorbed in a positive way though, nothing is ever obvious and as much as this really is recommended to appreciators of bands
like 65Days, Red Sparrows, Vessels, Mogwai and such, Brenda are already a fine band in their own right and interested in
far far more than just serving up more of what we've already heard – Brenda are here as an influence rather than to be influenced – this is a very very fine. A rewarding, highly recommended and rather original two track single, well worth exploring

The Sunday Experience
Brenda 'The Coldest Geometry' (airbag).
Okay granted not the most inspired of band names around but if bands crafted sounds this spatial and deceptively bsorbing
then who'd care if they called themselves Bastard Shitheads which in this case Brenda haven't because they are called Brenda. So how best to describe 'the coldest geometry' - well its certainly not your standardised verse chorus verse sub three minute pop affair which is soon forgotten the minute it leaves the decks. Instead there's something of deepening substance here that admittedly takes a play or three to filter through yet once locked repays in kind with bounteous rewards. Brenda have a melodic astuteness about their persona - of that there's no questioning, the delivery free flowing,
evolving, loose - almost like a jamming session, 'the coldest geometry' is part drone / math hybrid and yet not, the sounds and melodic fabrics shift perspective appearing and disappearing almost dreamily in hazes of fluffy nothingness,
drawing an invisible line somewhere between Tortoise and Stars of the Lid the overall effect combines smoking laid back sophistication, shimmers of chamber pop (that recalls in parts strangely enough Japan's 'Tin Drum') all metered by
delicately weaved jazz codas that briefly coalesce resplendently into moments of sumptuous star kissing shimmers. 'Big dog broken hand' features over on the flip an eight minute plus mini epic of haunting bewitchment comprising of hypnotically
woven needle worked riffs that slowly uncoil to steadily assume texture, depth and stature as though some sort of eerily ethereal backdrop to an early 70's Hammer film collaboratively delivered by a tour de force featuring Billy Mahonie,
Radiohead and Mogwai. Just wait for the head clouting climax - you have been warned. A must. An mini album is mooted to be around and about somewhere which we shall be seeking shortly.
Single of Month
Brenda-The Coldest Geometry (Airbag Recordings)
Ooh, we like a bit of skilful percussion here at subba HQ, and Brenda's inventive use of rhythm and manipulated sounds impresses more than most - with the jittery ignition of 65DOS and the bleeding guitars of Fugazi circa 'Instrument'. With an
Oceansize ear for melody, these guys are a stunning addition to the Post-Rock genre, one's to watch! Gigwise

Brenda -The Coldest Geometry (Airbag Recordings)
By Alistair Thompson.
’Brenda, hailing from Bournemouth and London, manage to defy classification in the post-modern era – something that is nothing short of remarkable and a stark reminder to us all that we haven't seen it all before. 'The Coldest Geometry'
manages to combine the slick sophistication of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and the evolving free-flowing delivery of Argentinean Ruby's Martin Hernandez with the sumptuous beauty of Estelle Skornick. Va Va Voom. The reverse features
the eight-minute epic 'Big Dog Broken Hand' and is a treat that words cannot do justice to. The track slowly, hauntingly, yet, always objectively, uncoils to release a beauty of so many layers that it defies belief that it hasn't been made using the
Ableton Software pioneered by progressive house DJs. There are no boundaries to Brenda, only expansion. Sacrifice the Champions League and check them out on tour this week, don't be put off by the blue rinse, get Brenda in your life. 4.5/5
Brenda - The Coldest Geometry
24 September 2007
By Manuel Ecostos
Bournemouth / London outfit Brenda proceed to play out a whole minute of an electronic drum snare before the metallic sweep of synths eventually creeps in. Then a vocal appears, almost too quietly and as the song marches forward, and all
within its own clockwork time, shards of effected sound create stark shimmers that often clatter like robotic feedback. "The Coldest Geometry" has the drawn out ethereal moments of Oceansize which, well after three minutes, climax into multilayered, manipulated progressive orchestrations. Brenda are certainly trying to redraw the lines between rock and electronic music and it's often hard to distinguish between synth and guitar. Few bands realise their goals as well as this
band, with a deliberated, challenging array of accessible mini-epics. A must for fans of the 'Size and other futuristic ambient / loud rockers. 4/5

Penny Black Music
Pelican, These Arms Are Snakes, Stout and Brenda : Joiners, Southampton,
Paul Raven
Starting with Brenda – whose oddly Brit-poppish name is very much at odds with the atmospheric and trippy music they make. Scattered jazzy drumming sketches a framework underneath angular scratchy guitar chords with plenty of space in
between, smeared with a generous layer of looped and effect-drenched vocals that occasionally soar into the falsetto range and back out again before you realise what's happening. Their music is a living thing, a thing with a pulse - and the band
are floating in that bloodstream, utterly absorbed and involved with their creation, losing the listener in a world to which only they have a map. Beautifully solipsist and internalised, this is the sort of music that gets accused of elitism by the same
people who think that Radiohead are wilfully obscure just for the sake of it. Someone should give these guys a tour of their own.

Leeds Music - Live Review
Dr Wu's: These Monsters + Brenda
Monday, 26th September 2005
By Nicholas Sell
Tonight our two opposing bands compliment each other well. Both believe in experimenting and trying diverse, intriguing methods of song writing, which is always nice to hear. The away team tonight are Brenda who combine haunting Jeff
Buckley style harmonies with beautiful measures of melancholy. But more than this they know how to play hard and play loud. Brenda will break your heart before taking you outside to break your legs. Although the length of the songs borders
onto the tedious, I am impressed with the creativity deployed (I have never seen a bass slammed into the floor whilst being hammered by a drumstick!) and the energy they deliver it with. The vocals are fantastic and well matched by the surrounding cacophony of sound. They also know how to work with the crowd and are clearly enjoying what they do.

Brenda: The Coldest Geometry (Airbag)
By Matthew Hirtes
Offering not so much a wall of sound, as a labyrinth, Brenda have been noodling since 2003. Formed in the unlikely birthplace of any band, Bournemouth, the band's five members, Joe, also a solo artist with his Slow Revolt side project, Ross, Brad, Lewis, and Ben, are now scattered across the Mouth, Poole, and ....London..... Yet the most surprising thing about Brenda isn't their roots, but the fact a band that near-literally scream headliner on this latest single are still playing
support slots at lower-tier venues.....(4/5)
Brenda – Architechtures EP
April 8th 2007
Amidst the present day overabundance of watered down, "cookie cutter" bands, five young British musicians known as Brenda are coming to the rescue, creating sounds that breathe life back into the soul of rock music. Possessing a strong
artistic vision, impressively well-honed skills and a unique sense of intimacy with their instruments, the band is able to paint beautiful landscapes of atmospheric, down-tempo rock in a seemingly effortless manner. In 2006, Brenda put together their first set of recorded material, in the form of a 4- track, self-titled EP. Within each song, the band bleeds out passionate, deliberately crafted progressions that merge engaging rock n' roll charisma with the patience of contemporary instrumental minimalism. Groovy riffs, mellow ambience and hauntingly emotional vocals are among the various elements that are to be
discovered within the album's contents. Each song builds slowly over generous periods of 5-9 minutes, while never once falling into tedious repetition or inducing any sense of boredom on the listener.
No matter what your musical inclinations, Brenda is unquestionably an essential listen. It is without a doubt that these young men are off to an impressively solid start, and will hopefully continue to stand above the rest of the rock underground for years to come.

Brenda Ep Review - May 2006
By Chris Thorp
The first thing to note about Brenda's new EP is that when you have finished listening to it, you can't remember a single thing of it. The second thing to note isthat it's really rather good. Instead of battering the listener with brash, catchy songs, they present us with a set of slow-burning, avant-rock compositions that conjure up emotional states rather than getting your feet tapping. Stream-ofconsciousness vocals soar above layerings of guitar and drum-lines that continue to
build until they're suddenly mutated into another direction. The CD ends with a brutal and overwhelming descent into noise, which leaves the listener mentally exhausted – and yet when it finishes there is the unmistakable urge to play it again.
This is music to be absorbed again and again.