Male Bonding

Event Off Sale: Tickets no longer available

PopGun Presents

Male Bonding

Love Inks, Fort Lean

Aug 30

Doors: 10:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm

Cameo Gallery

Brooklyn, NY

$10.00 - $12.00

Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

Male Bonding
Male Bonding
Initial contact with Endless Now triggers a quandary rather like that faced by the wise owl in those old Saturday morning Tootsie Roll Pop commercials: how many listens does it take before you start singing along with these new Male Bonding songs? One time? Two? If you make it to three, you have either a will of iron or an ear of tin. These are eleven selections- plus a wee reprise- imbued with the fierce urgency of now, and catchy as all get-out.

Life has moved at a fast clip for this trio from London’s Dalston neighborhood since the 2010 release of their debut album, Nothing Hurts. The rest of the year was filled with relentless touring across Europe and the UK, miles and miles of American blacktop, and a volcano-mandated sojourn in the unfamiliar climes of Los Angeles. A few of the new tunes were written and road-tested during this period. “I wrote the lyrics to ‘Carrying’ on a flight back from New York to London, then wrote the music as soon as I got back to my room,” recalls guitarist John Arthur Webb. “It has dual citizenship.”

As the winter holidays finally arrived, the boys stopped touring-but kept working. “I remember sitting in my room a lot, holding either a cup of tea or a guitar, with the TV on in the background,” continues John. “Sometimes I would hold both.” Songs poured forth as Christmas came and went. “When we reconvened in the new year we suddenly had more than an album’s worth of songs that John brought to us,” bassist Kevin Hendrick remembers. They knocked the best of the lot into shape with customary haste, then packed their bags and returned to the United States again.

Endless Now was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studio in Woodstock, NY, the converted 19th century church that birthed such classics as the B-52’s “Love Shack” and Dinosaur Jr.‘s 1993 full-length Where You Been. Male Bonding took special delight in later learning that Dreamland was also where the 1993 single "’74-’75" by North Carolina jangle-pop ensemble the Connells was made. “We used to come onstage to that song, so it was fate,” says drummer Robin Silas Christian. With deep snow everywhere, and sunshine streaming in through the stained glass windows in the morning, the trio worked with producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore, Dinosaur Jr.) installed behind the altar. After a week in Woodstock they relocated to Headgear Recording in Brooklyn to mix.

“That’s the most time we’ve ever had in a studio,” says Kevin of those two weeks. “We exploited every minute of that luxury. We’ve never had so much time and every single hour of it was filled.” Except for the breaks for three family-style meals daily, and a nightcap, and playing with the studio dogs- Ralphie and Artemis – at Dreamland, it was music non-stop. “We were working quickly, all the time.”

Musically, Endless Now is everything fans already love about Male Bonding… and much more. “We wanted to push ourselves as much as possible, which is something we’ve always done, but we did it even more this time,” explains Robin. “We used the studio as a tool much more, whereas I don’t feel that we did that last time.” New timbres like piano, cello, and the Mellotron all factor into the sound, and there are more guitars than ever before. In fact, there are so many overdubs they’ve had to enlist their pal Nathan Cheetahs to share guitar duties in recent live shows. Another friend loaned Robin a ride cymbal… for the very first time! “I’d never used one before and absolutely loved it. It’s all over the record.” There are abundant vocal harmonies, the female ones supplied by Frankie Rose of Crystal Stilts/Dum Dum Girls/Vivian Girls renown.

The end result is 36 minutes of songs tailor-made to anchor mix tapes and playlists-if you can stand to separate them from the whole album. The enthusiastic “Tame The Sun” heralds the arrival of Endless Now with the first notes its plucky bass line. And “heralds” is the right word: Male Bonding’s music is animated by an infectious, evangelical zeal that reflects their roots in the D.I.Y. indie rock community. “Bones” opens with the giddy rush one associates with classic hardcore or the best of the Wedding Present, then stretches out the same four-chord progression for six minutes and 24 seconds-all the while retaining its succinct air of breathless excitement. With its hazy vocals, hissing cymbals, and just a hint of vintage Beach Boys, the spacey “Can’t Dream” reconciles the Punk and the Hippy in all of us. And then there’s Male Bonding’s take on Phil Spector-style ‘60s pop, "What’s That Scene," which wraps its gritty, grungy center in a sugar-sweet wash of handclaps and wah-ooh backing vocals.

Hear that? You’re singing along already.
Love Inks
Love Inks
Austin, Texas three-piece Love Inks are set to surprise and seduce music fans and critics across the board this Spring, with the release of their debut album E.S.P. due May 10, 2011. Conceived and recorded with strict, direct motives, the sounds captured within the album's 10 tracks are simply an electric guitar, a bass guitar, an old drum machine, at special moments a Moog Satellite and, most importantly, the simple yet poignant vocals of Sherry LeBlanc.

The combined sound is minimalist dream-pop; imbued with raw emotion, sexuality, and splashes of electronic color. Focus is placed primarily on the voice, which is direct and honest and real - no frills, tears through extravagant side roads, or indulgent solos necessary.

Sherry however, is a firm believer in positivity. Her lyrics are never abusive or cynical:

“We are a family, and in some ways stronger because we are always supportive. The album reflects a time and place for everyone in the band. A time to pare down to what is necessary, essential. Cut out complexity, and you'll find a deeper layer that is thicker and stronger. Like the human body, you'll eventually end up at a nerve; once it's hit, that's when we know we're there, and that's when we press the record button.”

Self-recorded in their own home of Austin, Texas and mixed by a friend, the idea was to get the purest signals from all instruments and feed them through an 8-track reel-to-reel, immediately warming the sounds and weaving them all together. This process was drawn out on a piece of paper in schematics before recording with the concept being: The less digitized, the better. In March of 2010, Love Inks started the process with fifteen or more songs, and by June they were down to a solid ten.

The songs featured on E.S.P. were written to showcase the essence of emotion behind each instrument. It started as an exercise and became the only way to do it, forever. With the guitar and bass, Love Inks found there is a way to drop it perfectly into the song, in between everything, so that the vocals can exist in their own world, floating independently above the song.
Fort Lean
Fort Lean
A wise man said: Pick your tenants wisely. Fort Lean, the New York rock band you apparently like so much that you sought out the official literature, are a tenant of mine. This is not poetry. I am their landlord. The first of every month, with remarkable diligence, the Fort wires 200 American into my bank account for the use of a cramped and water-damaged rehearsal space I still haven't gotten around to soundproofing. I like these guys. They're respectful of other people's belongings. They clean up after themselves, usually. I have my suspicions that Keenan Mitchell, the band's wild-eyed singer, has slept in the space without my permission, maybe even with women--but it's all good. The band owns expensive vintage amplifiers. They're open to sharing (usually). As far as tenant/landlord relationships go, ours is copacetic.
As for their music? You've heard it. Fort Lean write big, anthemic rock songs, and they play the hell out of them. Stakes are high. They want to be Oasis. They want to be Springsteen. They want to be U2. My guess is they will be, and here's why: Fort Lean don't want people to "kinda like" them. They want to be a girl's first crush. They want college kids to make bad life decisions based on misinterpretations of their lyrics. They want to write the song you dance to with your second wife on the night of your wedding to your first wife. When your son moves to whatever the new Bushwick is in twenty years, and when he calls you, crying, to report he just got shook down by a bunch of punk kids, Fort Lean want you to smile to yourself and think of that line from "Sunsick": "Get-tin' mugged by chil-drennn!!"
You would think this is every band's wish--to be The Biggest Band In The World. But it turns out that's a lot of work! It turns out that most musicians are self-absorbed fuck-ups who haven't earned the right to be either. Most importantly, it turns out, 99.9% of bands just don't have the chops or the songbook. Fort Lean somehow have both--which is why they stuck out like a sore thumb this past CMJ. They're writing choruses you wish you had written, and playing tighter than your band ever could. They're only going to get better too. Mark my words: the world will get at least five great albums from this band before the singer cracks and decides he wants to be a doctor after all.
Look. I could write thousands of words about keyboardist Will Runge's impeccable style (great face, great denim). I could rap on drummer Sam Ubl's tasty hi-hat work, or bassist Jake Aron's smart use of space. I could tell you about the first time I heard Keenan's voice--an oaky, siren-like tenor that proves once and for all that nature does in fact trump nurture. Or how about this: Zach Fried routinely wears tight red pants, plays a Telecaster, and insists on using an enormous eighty-pound pedalboard even though he only has like two pedals--and somehow gets away with it all! There's just so much to like about this band in the particular. But right now, the thing I like most about Fort Lean is quite simple. They pay their rent on time. They chip in when equipment gets broken. They let me use their Twin Reverb, and the Peavy Bandit (great for leads). I didn't have to tell them twice about not leaving bikes in the hallway. It's hard to find bands like this. I will miss them when they're gone.
Venue Information:
Cameo Gallery
93 N. 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211