Male Bonding Nothing Hurts

Male Bonding Nothing Hurts
With a motto like "shall we try it a little faster?," Male Bonding have set themselves up for a lifetime of tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. But their love for coffee and reluctance to play a song for more than two minutes bodes well for anyone who feels an album shouldn't cross the half-hour mark. The London, UK trio's debut album, Nothing Hurts, may seem like a late arrival to lo-fi's renaissance, but like label-mates No Age and Dum Dum Girls, they actually have the songs to pardon the tardiness. Male Bonding's strength is in how palatable they can make their noise sound at breakneck speed. They've obviously done their homework, as Male Bonding often channel the spirits of the '80s underground to fuse their noise and pop. "Weird Feelings" rides a wave of fuzz that's right out of Kurt's playbook, from the plucky guitar hooks to the sleepy vocals. "All Things This Way" thrashes about like the crescendo in Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia" and "T.U.F.F." is a ball of distortion that out düs Hüsker Dü. The deceleration that comes on the acoustic "Worse To Come" feels a little tacked on at the end, but with Vivian Girls singing harmonies, the descent into some idyllic noise is the perfect way to close out the beautifully laconic din of Nothing Hurts. (Sub Pop)