Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts

Hey. Today is May 11th, 2010, the official release day for the newest album “Nothing Hurts” by Male Bonding. So I figured covering “Nothing Hurts” today was extremely appropriate.

The album is being released by Sub Pop Records today, and it’s their first full length album to date. Male Bonding hail from a place called Dalston in London, which Sub Pop refers to as a “gentrification-proof London neighborhood with ample ‘lo-fi’ bands and Turkish restaurants.” Interesting. We don’t exactly know if the town of Dalston has an influence on their playing style, but either way I’m sure Male Bonding would continue to serve up these quick, high-intensity noise pop songs that are almost always played a breakneck speeds. With that being said, there’s not a song on the album that’s longer than 3 minutes, and the album as a whole is barely a half hour long, clocking in at 29 minutes.

On “Nothing Hurts”, just about every last song can find it’s way into your brain and embed itself there for days. Every song on the record has it’s hook, making every one of these songs dangerously catchy and bound to keep your finger on the ‘repeat’ button. Whether it’s a screeching guitar solo (like on “Your Contact”, “Crooked Scene”, “Nothing Remains” or “Pumpkin”), or it’s a pulsing, groovy bass line (like on “All Things This Way”, or “Nothing Used to Hurt”), chances are you’re going to like this band. Aside from these things, they also make liberal use of the cowbell in a few of their songs, like on “Crooked Scene” or “Pirate Key”, which at first might catch the listener off guard. The ending of “Pirate Key” is especially interesting, as the cowbell brings the song to a close.

The song “Weird Feelings” starts off with a swollen, fuzzy bass line, and then almost immediately another squealing guitar hook comes into play, bringing these two elements of their music together in an almost perfect fashion. Get about three-quarters through the song and you’ll hear another quick but fulfilling guitar solo, thus proving that these guys really know how to hit that mark. Until that solo comes up, the song was good, but as soon as it plays, chances are you’re going to be wide-eyed and thinking “Where did that come from!?” Not to mention the quick use of the cowbell again at the end of the solo. All that being said, I think this would qualify as one of the highlights from this album. Not too long after “Weird Feelings” comes the song “T.U.F.F.”. “T.U.F.F.” is a culmination of just about everything last aspect of their music that I mentioned before this sentence. Specifically placed cowbells, head-spinning guitar hooks, breakneck speeds, crashing cymbals, and a bass line that just rips through the song without ever looking back to see the damage it has done.

While most of their songs do follow this pattern, there are a small handful that don’t. The oddly named “Franklin” and then the closing track “Worse to Come”. You may notice that these two songs don’t necessarily fit in as well as the others upon first listening to “Nothing Hurts”, but these two go a long way for showing the diversity that Male Bonding could have in their seemingly endless bag of sprawling, head spinning noise rock. “Franklin” creates quite an obscure feeling and could most easily be described as indistinct or ambiguous. With that being said, I’m not entirely sure what they were shooting for with this song, but it still certainly fits into the record, strangely enough. If that’s got you curious, then do yourself a huge favor and listen to these songs below.

Weird Feelings –

T.U.F.F. –

Franklin –

My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Noise Rock, Grunge, Lo-Fi
Nothing Hurts: Tracklist
1.) Year’s Not Long
2.) All Things This Way
3.) Your Contact
4.) Weird Feelings
5.) Franklin
6.) Crooked Scene
7.) T.U.F.F.
8.) Nothing Remains
9.) Nothing Used to Hurt
10.) Pirate Key
11.) Paradise Vendors
12.) Pumpkin
13.) Worse to Come

Male Bonding on Myspace
Buy “Nothing Hurts” directly from Sub Pop

2 thoughts on “Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts

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