Male Bonding, Endless Now
Pretty much anything Sub Pop records puts out and puts their name behind is guaranteed to be good stuff. Or, at the very least, worth a listen. Such is the case with English punk rock band Male Bonding. On a label that’s currently got a very heavy indie-folk roster (Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper, The Head & The Heart, etc.) it’s nice to hear Sub Pop release some grungy, punk rock tunes like the ones that got them started in the first place with Mudhoney and Nirvana in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Based in London, Male Bonding signed with Sub Pop in 2009, released its debut record, Nothing Hurts, in 2010 and recently released its sophomore album, Endless Now, this week.
Male Bonding’s sound could be described as a mix between the pop-punk tunes of early Blink 182 and punk rockers NOFX, with hints of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub. It seems almost out of place with today’s indie music scene, which is currently being dominated by surf-rock, folk-rock, and electro, but it also feels like a breath of fresh, and may possibly be nostalgic for you, reminding you of summers spent in the hot sun at the Warped Tour.
Both of Male Bonding’s records are full of fun, catchy punk rock songs that are genuinely good. Endless Now seems a bit more polished than the band’s debut (probably in part due to the fact that it was recorded in Woodstock, New Yorks’s Dreamland Recording Studio, a converted 19th-century church), but is still full of the same clever songwriting as the previous album. The songs on both records are fast, loud, and full of catchy, thoughtful lyrics.
Nothing Male Bonding brings us on Endless Now is completely new to our ears, and it’s not the most unique-sounding record of all time, but perhaps it’s the timing — as well as the band’s obvious talent — that’s getting them a lot of attention right now. Whether punk rock is your forte, or perhaps you were like me and hadn’t really touched the genre since probably 2004, Male Bonding is one talented punk rock band worth your time.