Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts

January 01, 1970

(Sub Pop)


It feels like it’s been a long time since a band on Sub Pop
actually sounded like a Sub Pop band, hasn’t it? Way back before the
Pitchforkification of indie rock, when the only way you could get online was
through Prodigy, the venerable Seattle imprint harbored a unique flavor all its
own and of its region, releasing 7-inches, EPs and full-lengths from Pacific Northwest
groups like Green River, Tad, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Mudhoney who helped
shape a new, exciting sound that would soon be commercialized under the name


Male Bonding, a young punk band from London’s artsy Dalston
neighborhood who sprung from the rib of English noise rockers PRE, completely
eschew the trappings of Sub Pop’s newer, softer era by creating a debut LP rife
with the kind of harmonious caterwauling that made the label’s first ten years
in business so revolutionary. An educated ear can pick up several of the
primary sonic touchstones these young Brits levy across this scant-yet-powerful
half-hour set: a scent of Bleach on
tracks like album opener “Years Got Long” and “TUFF”; a chunk of pure Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge on “All
Things This Way”; even a little vintage Sebadoh, both Jason Lowenstein raveups
(“Nothing Remains”) and the Lou Barlow comedowns (the acoustic album closer
“Worse to Come” featuring guest vocals from the Vivian Girls). One can also
catch elements of surf, C86, Hüsker Dü’s Zen
, Carnival of Light-era Ride
and Teenage Fanclub’s A Catholic
in the mix as well, all pureed together to create a sound
entirely unique to drummer Robin Silas Christian, bassist/vocalist Kevin
Hendrick and guitarist/vocalist John Arthur Webb.


Loud, fast and fuzzy-as-frig, this is one of the purest Sub
Pop albums to come out since 8-Way Santa.


“All Things This Way”, “TUFF”, “Nothing Remains”, “Pirate
Key”, “Worse to Come” RON HART



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