Ones to Watch: Male Bonding

One of the most important new bands this year?
Male Bonding
Male Bonding are firmly ensconced in current scene du jour, DIY/lo-fi. Yet the Dalston trio look set to break out on their own with the release of ‘Nothing Hurts,’ their infectious debut album on Sub Pop. They are, however, keen to distance themselves from any artificiality and let their music do the talking.

“I see lo-fi as a description of sound in terms of production rather than a label or stigma,” says bassist and vocalist Kevin Hendrick. “We went to New York and recorded in a studio with a big desk and huge tape reels. That’s not very lo-fidelity.” And his description of the making of ‘Nothing Hurts’ is evident in the precise, yet ramshackle production of the songs. Melody, wit and musicianship abound, and are expertly woven into reverb, overdriven guitars and frenetic drumming. The sound he, guitarist/vocalist Josh Arthur Webb and drummer Robin Silas Christian happened upon is an addictive, loveable racket, tinged with grunge, surf pop and punk.

There is a genuine air of passion, respect and love of music evident in all that Male Bonding surround themselves with (split seven inches, a band-run label, touring with like-minded bands). To call them DIY however, is to miss the point entirely. “It’s just a way we do things,” affirms Kevin.

A band with such a commitment to their craft should be applauded.

Words by Ben Homewood

Where: Dalston, London
What: Loud, fast melodic pop
Unique Fact: Despite the band’s raucous sound, all Kevin’s favourite songs are ballads
Get 3 Songs: ‘Year’s Not Long’, ‘Pumpkin’, ‘Carrying’

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