With a supremely simple sub-thirty-minute, thirteen-track debut, this British trio calls to mind the brisk noise-pop of Sub Pop label-mates No Age (not to mention early Seattle grunge). Perhaps, a description of their first show says it all: the band played a party titled “RAGE” in their native London which purportedly involved a lot of beer and one giant trampoline, evoking an image of disgruntled, drunken, and high-flying youth that is only too apt given the sounds unleashed on Nothing Hurts. While “Worse to Come”, which features guests Vivian Girls, recalls a grimier version of the male-female vocal interplay of the Vaselines, much of this record revolves around hazy feedback giving way to the rapid-fire play of singer/guitarist John Arthur Webb. Chunky, distorted riffs spike through “Weird Feelings” only to be followed (if not soothed) by a lush, almost shoe-gazer-like, drone on the ethereal “Franklin”, during which Webb contemplates the band’s ostensible infatuation with ephemerality, crooning, “All this won’t last forever”. Combining both of these currents is “Years Not Long”. The grizzled sweep of guitars on the album’s opener deftly straddles the line between cockeyed exuberance and infecting heaviness for an effect that all but boils down Male Bonding’s unique allure in two-and-a-half glorious minutes.
Buy this at iTunes. After the jump, watch a live session the band did for BBC.