Male Bonding: Year’s Not Long
London (Dalston) noise-pop trio Male Bonding plays fast. Nothing Hurts, the band’s first full-length, gets it done in half an hour, and most songs clock in at around two minutes. “I don’t like long songs,” says guitarist and singer John Arthur Webb. “I lose interest when listening to them, and I lose interest when writing them. We always end up speeding things up without meaning to. Too much coffee.”
According to singer and bassist Kevin Hendrick, one of the band’s key phrases is, “I like it—shall we try it a little faster?” As he taught himself to play, Hendrick spun LPs at 45 RPM. “For hours, I would listen to all these rock songs, and I’d hear the bass line and was always wondering what it would sound like sped up. It appealed to me more. Imagine these stodgy riffs fast and choppy. I loved it. I’d zone in on these lines—they were probably guitar lines, too—and I’d play along to them. The rest of the music and vocals would melt away.”
Male Bonding’s fast songs paid off quickly. After the American label Sub Pop ordered some singles from Paradise Vendors, “we joked with them about asking us to do a 7” for their singles club,” Webb recalls. “About a week later, we were drinking Cava and eating crepes whilst signing a contract.” And here we are.
Alongside Nothing Hurts, Male Bonding is contributing to a Flipper tribute, to be released on Domino. Fun fact! For entertainment, John Arthur Webb enjoys listening to Flipper’s Gone Fishing at 45 RPM. “It sounds like Bikini Kill. I think I prefer it.” [subpop]