Album Review : Male Bonding : Endless Now

An inveterate rock ‘n’ roller, I can get a bit cranky around the use of the term “Indie rock.” Maybe one-third to one-half of the times I hear it, there’s a “backbeat, you can’t lose it” element. On the other hand, this is old news: all sorts of music in rotation on “classic rock” stations is about “classic,” or just proven, older-school sounds. Still, as Status Quo, the British band known for heads down/no frills four-to-the-floor stomp once sang, “(Honey,) don’t waste my time.” Addicted as I am to r-a-w-k, when I hear the word “rock,” there’s a Pavlovian effect: I want the stuff! So I was rather delighted when Male Bonding’s debut had me shaking my tail-feathers right out of the box. Does the sophomore effort hold up?

MP3 : Male Bonding – Bones

Endless Now didn’t initially grab me in quite the slam-dance clench of Nothing Hurts. Production’s a bit muddy, and it’s heavier on droning melodies and drawn-out vocals than was the case with its hot-blooded predecessor. Turns out those aren’t necessarily reasons to dial “911.” I have no beef with the jubilant burst of guitar heralding “Before It’s Gone.” “Tame the Sun” is the kind of opener that makes me want to plan a road trip with this album in tow. “Carrying” kicks in delightfully from that opening. And most of the album flows so persuasively that now I’m imagining the road trip that needs to be planned to go with the mix I’ll make: Male Bonding/Ramones/Weezer/Nirvana/The Obits/RFTC/the Smiths/Tijuana Panthers/Jaill… Matter of fact, this is kind of like Jaill without that band’s effortless bounce; it’s teenaged crunch for young adults who’ve already done some hard livin’.

MP3 : Male Bonding – Tame The Sun

Fact is, after inserting a week or so between my first Endless Now spin and… now, I’m getting nervous: I’ve had too much espresso, and some of these tracks are capable of circling my head at four a.m. as a voice keeps intoning, “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

Post by Mary Leary

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