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Album Review: Menace Beach - Ratworld

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★★★★☆

Their string of online releases rode a wave of hype and critical acclaim and now Leeds-based Menace Beach have dropped a debut album worthy of the fuss.

Menace Beach

A hotchpotch of retro 90s indie sounds Ratworld is flying the flag for the best of British guitar music.

Essentially the work of lead vocalists/power duo Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, Menace Beach’s ranks are completed by the best of the local indie scene (with musical history in Pulled Apart By Horses, Hookworms, Sky Larkin amongst others).

Laden with hooks and effortlessly sweet tones, opening track ‘Come On Give Up’ carries hints of Britpop, bathed in feedback.

‘Drop Outs’ has the echoed undertones of 60s psyche-pop, with a lo-fi indie edge, whilst ‘Lowtalkin’ is a snotty, explosive burst of punk noise and feedback.

Acting as a bullet of explosive, splattered punk and piercing instrumentals fired up ‘Lowtalkin’ highlights the perfected ear for musical arrangement.

Shoegaze is an obvious influence throughout  and ‘Blue Eye’ takes the soften, more psyche edges of My Bloody Valentine’s catalogue as Liza’s angelic tones bathe in sound. The deliciously dreamy spin slowly builds momentum before peaking.

‘Dig It Up’, ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Tastes Like Medicine’ continue the initiation lo-fi and shoegaze.

‘Infinite Donut’ too offers little treats of casual melodies and giddy rushes perk up the numbers, swooning with a certain charm.

Title track ‘Ratworld’ is an exciting slice of pop-punk, oozing confidence and a killer beat. Clear vocals and male/female harmonies boast a sing-a-long essence, and worms its way into your subconscious.

Understated and pure, ‘Pick Out The Pieces’ confesses and pleads in a bittersweet manner, threading a shining thread of a fizzling summer trail of an insightful relationship.

Closing the album, ‘Fortune Teller’ is cushioned in a gauzy fog. Melodic waves sleekly wash over a crashing rhythm capturing Menace Beach’s personal sound of toned down, diluted punk rock.

With their influences fused together, Menace Beach have defined their personal sound in a nifty 33 minutes. Paying intricate attention to detail, Ratworld is an adventurous journey full of surprising delights around every corner.  

Ratworld is the best introduction to 90s indie sounds you’ll hear, but also one of the best ‘new’ debuts of 2015.

Ratworld is out now with Memphis Industries.

Catch them on tour with The Cribs.




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