On Monday 7th September, Tough Love Records issue the first in a series of double A side split singles designed to bring together musical kindred spirits. Featuring a track each from London-based three-piece Male Bonding and Portland, Oregon’s Eat Skull, the record showcases the breadth and ingenuity of the emerging lo-fi scene. Limited to just 500 copies and with artwork designed by Male Bonding drummer Robin Christian Silas, the 7” is both a direct embodiment of the DIY spirit and destined to be a rare collectors item.
Hailing from the U.S. West Coast, Eat Skull are a radioactive noise pop band with their sights set firmly on good times. Signed to pioneering US indie Siltbreeze (Psychedelic Horseshit, Tyvek, Times New Viking), the four piece have over the course of two albums (Sick To Death in 2008 and Wild and Inside this year) churned out consistently ragged Nuggets twisted through with evil intent, possessing a clear aesthetic affinity with the Dunedin sound. They’ve found huge fans in contemporaries No Age and Times New Viking, while reaching out to audiences craving something a little more gritty and celebratory than pervasive careerist indie rock. The release of “Heaven’s Stranger” marks their first official release in the UK, with the band planning a jaunt over here later in the year.
Although geographically miles apart, Male Bonding have their heart in the same sonic territory as Eat Skull. Featuring two members of no-wave titans PRE, Male Bonding are at the centre of the London lo-fi scene, with their own record label Paradise Vendours Inc set up to document the fecund musical climate in which they find themselves. Hidden beneath edgy layers of reverb and cowbell is a soft pop heart which the band openly admits is concerned with simply “girls and space travel”.
"Year's Not Long" later appeared in a different form on the band's Sub Pop released debut album, Nothing Hurts.