Over the last couple of years, London’s been increasingly abuzz with distortion and line-noise. One of the bands at the forefront of the abundant Dalston, East London scene is Male Bonding. Through their commitment to their own record label, Paradise Vendors, and since signing to Sub Pop for their debut album, the band has been drawing loads of attention to both their own music and that of their noisy lo-fi U.K. peers like Graffiti Island and Fair Ohs.
The band’s origins are in British noise rockers Pre, and in 2007 guitarist John Webb, bassist Kevin Hendrix, and drummer Robin Christian began to work together on their own tunes. The trio came about songwriting as equals, without any real frontperson. As Kevin puts it, the drums were on par with both the guitar and bass, and vocals would come from whoever came up with them first. They play noisy, almost-pop songs inspired by bands like The Fall, Buzzcocks, and Flipper, to name a few.
And they play fast. Seems as though the band could never play a song fast enough. And while that high energy still punctuates their quick short tunes, the writing and recording of Nothing Hurts has the band rethinking their process somewhat. As they work on newer material, they’ve been exploring a more deliberate approach, focusing more on lyrical content and melodies even. Referencing fuzzy, MBV shoegaze pop, it’s not much of a stretch to see that worked into the current formula.
They’ve shared the stage and toured with bands like No Age, Dum Dum Girls, Fucked Up, Mika Miko, Vivian Girls & Best Coast, and Male Bonding is right at home amongst the buzz and fuzz.
Oddly enough, it’s only since signing to Sub Pop that the boys of Male Bonding are actually going to get a chance to tour Europe and their native U.K., since Pre had always focused their sights on the U.S..
Special thanks to Marc Masters for conducting this interview. Debut LP Nothing Hurts is out now on Sub Pop.