Live Review

Male Bonding, Buffalo Bar, London

A suburb showcase of an exhilarating second album.

The blood red brick walls condensed with the stench of ten years’ worth of exciting, sweat festered new music is to be celebrated tonight in Islington’s Buffalo Bar. The size of the venue is charming and romantically enduring, garnished with candles and burlesque crimson lights as it crawls with red lipped girls (one so edgy she wears her t-shirt inside out…) and a sea of chequered shirts and knitted cardigans, full to the brim with Islington’s trendiest.

Tonight, the venue is a decade old - there are no balloons or party poppers or any of that ridiculous stringy shit that gets caught in your hair - but Male Bonding are revealing their new album, ‘Endless Now’. With backing from their successful debut ‘Nothing Hurts’, they’ve gained quite the loyal following. If you’re not one of those people, let me give you a little background information: Male Bonding - ‘Bubblegum-punk, grunge, surfer rock’ quartet from East London, first hit with ‘Year’s Not Long’, signed to American record label Sub Pop along with the likes of Avi Buffalo and Dum Dum Girls. That should do.

As the band set up, a group of teenage girls start to jump up and down as ‘Changes’ by 2Pac plays. Just as I begin to convince myself that losing my ear closest to the hollering girls beside me wouldn’t be too bad compared to the pain they are inflicting on me now… the band begin. Beginning with a bang, the track ‘T.U.F.F’ is a chaotic opening full of busy guitars, cowbells and agitated bass lines. Blonde bombshell of a bassist, Kevin Hendrick skips around an invisible circle like an injured Morris dancer the crowd sing along to fan favourite ‘Year’s Not Long’. As he coolly manages vocals with intricate guitar, the voice of lead singer, John Arthur Webb has delicate Americanism tones as well an essence of punk as he leads up to the epic chorus.

‘Endless Now’ has a true, iconic Male Bonding sound much to the relief of faithful fans. There are unclear, heavy echoing guitar riffs, jaunted and dominant bass lines, howling backing vocals and the soft, summery lead vocals you’d expect from a Male Bonding record. As a tame mosh pit begins, drummer Robin Silas Christian whips off his glasses before crashing his symbols repetitively throughout ‘Seems To Notice’. The first release from ‘Endless Now’, with its horrendously catchy and captivating chorus, ‘Bones’ is a grand representative that flies the Male Bonding flag high and proud.

A suburb showcase of an exhilarating second album.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

March 2024

Featuring Green Day, English Teacher, Everything Everything, Caity Baser and more!

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY