12 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Tame the Sun” opens up the second album by Britain’s Male Bonding, sounding surprisingly — like various ‘90s indie bands run through a pop filter. But as Endless Now progresses, John Webb’s brighter guitar sound and the reverb sheen on his (and bass player Kevin Hendrick’s) vocals morph from a sweet froth on tracks like “Tame the Sun” and “Carrying” to a grittier foam topping off tunes like “Bones” and “What’s That Scene.” Fans of their debut can rest easy: any concerns of the trio going soft will be allayed as the listener makes their way through Endless Now. Male Bonding hasn’t softened so much as clarified: there is a purity of sound that allows their tunes resonate with more permanence. They cleanly layer ringing, melodic guitars with breakneck speeds and halcyon harmonies, and while there is not a surfeit of fuzz to be found, songs like “Mysteries Complete” have an astounding amount of stickiness while maintaining an aggressive, densely packed energy. Endless Now feels far from endless. On some plays, it’s just too short.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Tame the Sun” opens up the second album by Britain’s Male Bonding, sounding surprisingly — like various ‘90s indie bands run through a pop filter. But as Endless Now progresses, John Webb’s brighter guitar sound and the reverb sheen on his (and bass player Kevin Hendrick’s) vocals morph from a sweet froth on tracks like “Tame the Sun” and “Carrying” to a grittier foam topping off tunes like “Bones” and “What’s That Scene.” Fans of their debut can rest easy: any concerns of the trio going soft will be allayed as the listener makes their way through Endless Now. Male Bonding hasn’t softened so much as clarified: there is a purity of sound that allows their tunes resonate with more permanence. They cleanly layer ringing, melodic guitars with breakneck speeds and halcyon harmonies, and while there is not a surfeit of fuzz to be found, songs like “Mysteries Complete” have an astounding amount of stickiness while maintaining an aggressive, densely packed energy. Endless Now feels far from endless. On some plays, it’s just too short.

TITLE TIME
2:27
2:14
2:49
6:25
2:56
3:24
2:52
3:44
1:37
4:12
3:24
0:25

About Male Bonding

Male Bonding are a three-piece lo-fi indie rock band that formed in the London area of Dalston. Consisting of John Arthur Webb (guitar and vocals), Kevin Hendrick (bass and vocals), and Robin Silas Christian (drums), the band first appeared in the spring of 2008 performing live at a house party. The D.I.Y. nature of their debut gig summed up Male Bonding's approach to music, which first saw release through their own label, Paradise Vendors Inc., in the form of a split 7" with Pens. After appearing on a Flipper tribute 7" released through Domino Records, the group enjoyed touring the U.K. with New York all-female lo-fi outfit Vivian Girls and played shows with Lovvers, HEALTH, and Fucked Up, among others, before signing with Sub Pop in July 2009. The band's first album, Nothing Hurts, arrived on the label in 2010. For their follow up, London trio went into the studio with producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr.), and in 2011 released their second album, Endless Now. ~ Daniel Clancy

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