Male Bonding - Nothing Remains/Pirate Key - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Male Bonding - Nothing Remains/Pirate Key

by Darren Loucaides Rating:8 Release Date:2010-11-28

As an advert for this year's debut album, Nothing Hurts, this double a-side is pretty apt. 'Nothing Remains' is a noisy tempest of a song: stream-of-consciousness-style lyrics delivered hazily and set far back in the mix respond to the feel of swampy guitars, rather than said guitars obliging a literal narrative. Meanwhile, like a careless child running in the road, the drums roar forwards - thrashing wrists threatening to shatter in the struggle to keep pace - pleasingly juxtaposed with the aforementioned waaaahh-ing vocals. A less self-conscious Wavves, the trio are having fun, soaking up melody, letting sound lead the way.

'Pirate Key' strikes a similar chord. Calling upon the infectious, spiralling whirlpool signature of Abe Vigoda, it invokes a kind of wild-eyed purity, instinctive, heart>head stuff, finishing on the appropriate words, "I see myself in colour, I see myself in light." These are both on the album, though, so you might as well just buy that, right? Probably. But this release does also offer you 'Nightmare Version'. A b-side recorded during the Nothing Hurts sessions, it's a bit darker, the angsty guitars (reminiscent of early Idlewild) nurturing your rage and frustration like a gathering wave, before letting it crash, and then repeating, brutally soothing. There's also a cover from Algodón Egipcio of 'Weirder Feelings', which, with its worldy percussion and dreamy, eastern atmosphere, points to the versatility and depth of Male Bonding's songwriting, but makes for an unusual footnote.

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