Menace Beach have been on our radar for a long time now so we were thrilled to see their debut LP Ratworld via Memphis Industries, be so widely appreciated. We knew the band had a great deal of talent but just how that would translate into 12 songs is always difficult to tell. We take you through each track. You don’t even need to hear it – though you probably still should.
Come on Give up
90’s nuance perfumes the air as stretched vocals turn into a faux 60’s harmony, which pops and bubbles like the proverbial first pint after a long day.
I’m sure it wasn’t meant to sound as close to Elastica as the title suggests but it does retain the fuzzy riffs and concentrated rhythm. The honeyed vocal of Liza Violet also adds to it but is somewhat tempered by the pop-punk yelps from the back. A kicky little lead line make it a definite head bopper.
A college-rock classic, begging to be played at ‘Shorty Bergstroff’s Awesome Party’ but still nevertheless a good tune to make the journey to work a little more palatable.
Returning to what endear us so quickly to the Leeds band the fuzzed garage punk sounds rattle around you brain like a razor sharp and rusty tin can. It perfectly simple but yet secretly layered with the buzz of an angry hornet.
The ballad of the album it’s Violet’s vocals which add a sweetness to an otherwise distorted sound. The melding of darkened riffs and soundscaping worry is offset by the beauty of the vocal performance, a classic in the making.
There is something knowingly comforting about this track and it has all the swaggering confidence of a 90’s Britpop band but with a touch more artistic merit.
With the dual vocals of Needham and Violet this track really rolls off the ear. It is pure easy listening with the comparisons between the fuzzed guitar and the euphoric organ mirroring Needham’s grittier delivery with the flowering sounds of Violet.
The title track of the album it is what Menace Beach are all about a post-modern pop performance with a seedier underbelly. An absolute banger.
Tastes Like Medicine
Punchy and pounding the song rings out across a subtlety of pop sensibilities heightened by the duel between Needham and Violet.
Pick out The Pieces
‘Pick out the Pieces’ is adolescent heartache at it’s finest with choral affluence and a classic chorus to sweep across the wallflower youth.
Starting the track with a grunge tinged extension of sentimentality until – Bang! Bang! Bang! – the track bursts into life and the band go full on garage-grunge with all the apathetic glee of an underdeveloped delinquent.
The track featured on the band’s first EP Lowtalker and it’s easy to see why it found its way on to the LP as well. It’s an infectious track with a distinctive arthouse extraction, it blends all that is good about Menace Beach in to 3 minutes and 23 seconds of unbridled garage joy.
It’s hard to find fault with Ratworld it has its glimpses of the 90’s bandwagon that seems to be picking up every band under 30 currently, but Menace Beach do it with a little more panache and decidedly more talent. This isn’t the swaggering, bolshie riffs of a Britpop-cocaine-snorting-wash-out. No, this is the constructed and developed sound of a band who are totally in tune with not only what they like and are influenced by, but what is being cultured around the country. They have only increased their fast growing reputation as one of the bands to watch in 2015. Ratworld has to be seen as a success.