Consider this an introduction, partly because many of you may have never visited nor even heard of the lovely Brudenell Social Club. The main reason for this is because it is in Leeds, England, where I, DJ Ones, am currently stationed for my year on exchange. I found myself looking for great music clubs in this fine city and stumbled across the Brudenell Social Club, where I learned that KNC favorite Megafaun had played a handful of days before my arrival in the U.K. When I heard that Male Bonding would be playing a couple of days later on Oct. 1, I grabbed a new friend with a funny accent and headed over to the Brudenell.
After the doors opened at 7:30 p.m. and four local bands played with mixed reactions from the crowd, Male Bonding finally took the stage in this modestly-sized baseball field-shaped club.
Coming off of the release of their new, cleaner sounding album Endless Now I wondered how their new material would translate to the scruffy sound of their live shows. The show itself highlighted the best of this relatively new band’s already impressive two albums. A mixture of sounds from their previous two records leaned towards the fulfilling and more abrasive rock sound of their debut Nothing Hurts. This combined with the scrappy tracks of their debut produced a cohesive and enjoyable rock experience.
About halfway through the set I realized what was at the heart of some of their best material: the percussion section. From the visceral bass introduction to songs like “Weird Feelings” to the faster drums of “Year’s Not Long,” the sound came across with both style and substance. Fast-paced, upbeat, and to the point, Male Bonding put on one hell of a live show filled with few breaks and constant excitement.
It was with the last song, “Year’s Not Long,” that ended the night on a high note. Male Bonding provided a set full of controlled chaos: a fine balance of frantic instrumentals and cohesive songwriting. The sound in the Brudenell was great, Male Bonding was a bottle of energy, and their set was satisfying and memorable as a first for myself in the U.K.