“Pop” music is a weird thing. Initially, the word conjures up polished and preened princes and princesses, but that three letter word can be applied to anything and anyone once the basic formulae are present. Take for example, this, the sophomore record from Dalston trio (now a four-piece live) Male Bonding. While covered in a cathedral-sized amount of reverb and fuzz, they wrap each three minute tune in pure pop gold.
Simple but strong melodies form the basis of each track with bands like The Wipers and even early Blink 182 being touchpoints. Lead track ‘Bones’ is a standout with its relentless beat and hummable vocal melodies, despite being an epic by the band’s standards at six minutes long. They also take the subtle route, showcased on ‘Before It’s Gone’ with a slightly more downbeat mood while at the same time never letting the tempo dip. While their debut was full of ramshackle charm, Male Bonding seem to have progressed in a way that doesn’t compromise how they stuck out from the crowd in the first place.