Male Bonding Endless Now

Male Bonding Endless Now
The second album from UK trio Male Bonding doesn't stray too far from the Sub Pop blueprint of debut Nothing Hurts, and while their early '90s alt-aping is some of the best out there at the moment, it falters a bit over the course of another dozen frenzied, fuzz-laden tracks. Which isn't to say that Endless Now fails. In fact, producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Hold Steady) hones in on the band's hidden pleasures, and with vocals higher in the mix, multiplied melodies and generous harmonies, you might not even notice some of the clean-up done on the previously perfected grungy guitars and arrangements. "Carrying" and six-plus-minute first single "Bones" breeze by with a grin, while "Dig You Out" lulls the album into a sweet, static reprise. On "Before It's Gone," when John Arthur Webb sings, "Feeling so much older than I used to feel," the album's title and sound collide into a winking heap, because, of course, none of this is anything new. However, Male Bonding are intent on making it theirs. (Sub Pop)