Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
There's no pressure in a Male Bonding song, as heard on this session and their previous one of two years ago, just an as-luck-would-have-it ease that's maybe owed more to the acoustic guitar than anything else and to having this be the first time the trio had ever performed their songs in such a manner. It's a simple root beer float or margarita feeling to these four songs. From the outset, they set out not to harsh any mellows, but rather intensify those mellows into something that, if it were being chewed, would be as thick and tough as burlap and beef jerky to get through to the other side of. Lead singer John Arthur Webb casts a sense of years drawing shorter and eyes getting heavier, these characters that he writes about feeling as if there's no reconciliation between what that time's doing to them and what they're doing to time. There's a great instinct that let's us believe that these are the sole concerns of the young and those experiencing those growing pains that have nothing to do with muscles, joints and bones, but of the mental and mind-scrambling features that tend to get the best of us most of the time. These are the concerns of nearly all, without age discrimination - these follies always and continually barking at us until we just cannot stand it any longer. Webb sings on "Worse To Come" from the group's first session, "Your words just hang around/That way they let you know you let them down," and it's a reminder that everything that you say at one point in your life can cost you and continue to haunt, like a scar or birth mark. You can't run away from anything anymore. Maybe you never could. Webb, Robin Silas Christian and Kevin Charles Hendrix, put the focus on the plain realities, instead of getting caught up in what the realities are going to be doing. The songs sound beachy and sandy and not all that treacherous, just pieces of an unpleasant turn of events that can't be helped so…let's just chill about it. Let's chill into the gloom.
Male Bonding Official Site
Sub Pop Records