Album Review: Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts

on Monday, May 10, 2010
Words: Simon Opie

Male Bonding – 'Nothing Hurts'

Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts (album cover)
"the album rattles along and really rewards multiple listening"

Short songs make for a great live set and Male Bonding sound like they'd be a very engaging live outfit. It’s hard to capture that same energy on record but 'Nothing Hurts' is an excellent effort. 14 songs, none longer than 2 minutes 45, the album rattles along and really rewards multiple listening. Those who know the songs from live shows will doubtless love it first time up and those who are new to the band will take a few plays before the songs get under the skin.

They will inevitably embed, and although there’s nothing revolutionary here with a straight guitar/bass/drums line-up, its also hard to make comparisons. Perhaps the Archie Bronson Outfit is one marker but Male Bonding have a very distinctive sound, with plenty of vocal hooks. Presumably that’s why Sub Pop signed them for this, their first album. And I wouldn’t mind betting that their second and third albums will be even better as they come to grips with converting their flat-out delivery style to the studio environment.

'Nothing Hurts' is a very likeable and skilfully done album from a band who can clearly develop and go places. Catch them live before they start to play cavernous venues, and play this album at least 5 times straight through before you judge it. It’s a lot of fun and a kick-start to sunnier times and longer days. Hooray!

'Nothing Hurts' is out today in the UK, and tomorrow in the US.

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