Menace Beach – ‘Lowtalker’ EP

Our rating:

‘Lowtalker’ has that two-decades-old indie sound of rumbling bass and vocal indolence down to a T

Leeds’ Menace Beach share their name with a shonky early ’90s Nintendo game. Band moniker-related developments of recent years (see also: Ducktails, Peak Twins) mean this now implies gormless nostalgia, smarmy irony and, in a nutshell, chillwave. Happily, ‘Lowtalker’ – five songs, 14 minutes – is a bit smarter, and better, than that. ‘Fortune Teller’, EP opener and high point, suggests a college rock rework of My Bloody Valentine, while fragments of other alt-rock notables crop up elsewhere: ‘Honolulu’ hints at early Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Nervous’ is a boisterous clatter akin to Archers Of Loaf and MJ from Hookworms, the EP’s producer, has got that two-decades-old indie sound of rumbling bass and vocal indolence (courtesy of Webster and Ryan Needham, the other Menace Beach founder) down to a T. It helps that MJ’s also the guitarist, part of a backing band including Pulled Apart By Horses and Sky Larkin personnel. And their gigs sometimes feature Paul Draper from Mansun, who is, too, very much from the 90s.

Noel Gardner

Details

Director: MJ
Record label: Memphis Industries
Release date: 14 Jan, 2014