Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
So another Sub Pop summer is upon us. Following such recent successes as No Age and Band of Horses, the Seattle based label couldn't capture the carefree haze of a joyous June day any better, as testified by the recent stunning release from Dum Dum Girls. However, in a rare move they've sought to get their kicks from England and found Dalston noise boys Male Bonding.
Geographical sidesteps aside; Nothing Hurts greedily tick all the boxes notoriously associated with the Sub Pop aesthetic: abrasive, frenetic, obscured, seething and – above all – addictive. Opener Year's Long serves the trio best, a joyous slice of energetic punk underpinned by heartfelt emotion. Behind the gruff textures there's the odd nod to shoegaze; in fact you'll hear it find it in every other hook Male Bonding have to offer, but perhaps most in steel string strummer Worst To Come, which drips in gorgeously crooked harmonies courtesy of Vivian Girls.
So it has been done before; heck, Sub Pop built its foundations on the kind of sound Nothing Hurts propels from your speakers. But with warmer climes around the corner, you’ll be hard pressed to find a fuzzier soundtrack. [Gordon Bruce]