Male Bonding - Endless Now

Album cover
Indie Rock/Alternative, Punk
Sub Pop Records
Male Bonding
Endless Now
Male Bonding - Endless Now Review rating:
3.5
User rating:
Average: 3 (2 votes)

Elegance is a quality hard to fake. You cannot simply dress up and hope to be refined and generally it is believed to be an attribute gained through a lifetime of rehearsal. While London Lo-Fi Punkers Male Bonding are surely not a perfect encapsulation of the word it is a pitch-perfect descriptor for the growth they have undergone since their raucous debut Nothing Hurts (2010). Endless Now displays a band less concerned with blasting in and out of a track in less than a minute preferring to allow their songs to breathe. As opposed to engulfing their thinly harmonized hooks into distortion typhoons (do not worry this still happens) lead singers Kevin Hendrick (bass) and John Arthur Webb (guitar) push their voices to the forefront. Not that Nothing Hurts was lack for excellent hooks via barely discernible coos backed by blaring guitars Endless Now is just a cleaner record and surprisingly enough the aesthetic fits Male Bonding sublimely. Webb, Hendrick and drummer Robin Silas Christian revel in their elongated compositions—only one full song clocks in at under two minutes (“The Saddle”) and it is the record's single attempt at balladry—showcasing their skill for poppy-punk guitar rock on a grander scale. Even as that sugar-rush excitement their debut possessed is missed this newfangled, more mature Male Bonding slot right in next to No Age as one of the more exciting noisy indie rock bands in recent memory.

Not to be confused with their American musical brethren these Englishmen play a much more break-neck form of noise-punk. No Age play with their distortion more, letting it build and explode, Male Bonding prefer to attack head on. Songs like “Channeling Your Fears,” “Tame The Sun” and “Seem To Notice Now” are anthemic jolts of energy akin to their previous record’s track list. While the aforementioned “The Saddle” takes acoustic strums, some uplifting vocals, one woozy guitar riff and in about ninety seconds shatters all previous notions of where this band would have the balls to go. Not that a slower song is some grand experiment but rarely does a group of artist seemingly so buried in their own ethos (as these guy were with Nothing Hurts) expand so successfully. This is never more apparent than with “Bones” an excellent track built on driving riffs cascaded against a clash of toms and cymbals with easily the most accomplished songwriting the band has ever displayed. In six and a half minutes Male Bonding transition from a group of boys in London who crafted a very good albeit pretty one-note debut to a band with a distinct sound and a true sense of elegance amidst all the reverberated bombast. Endless Now in turn was a perfect name for their sophomore record as their ability and potential, at this point, seem limitless; even if they are a still a bit raw.

1. Tame The Sun
2. Carrying
3. Seems To Notice Now
4. Bones
5. Before It's Gone
6. What's That Scene?
7. Mysteries Complete
8. Can't Dream
9. The Saddle
10. Channeling Your Fears
11. Dig You Out
12. Unknown

Male Bonding is a noise rock/punk band which formed in Dalston, London, England in 2008. The band consists of John Arthur Webb (vocals, guitar), Kevin Hendrick (vocals, bass) and Robin Silas Christian (drums). The band has released two albums, "Nothing Hurts" in 2010, and "Endless Now", due in August 2011.

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