‘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.