Low Talker by Menace Beach (EP)

19 January, 2014 in Music Reviews

Menace Beach

Menace Beach attempt to revive the grunge and psychedelic music of the 80s/90s with new EP ‘Low Talker’ – and succeed

Menace Beach Low Talker EPver the last few years there has been an influx of new talent in the arenas of grunge and psychedelia. On their Low Talker EP Menace Beach, a Sheffield-based band led by twin vocalists Ryan Needham and Liza Webster, give you their take on these twin musical canons.

On the curiously catchy opening track Fortune Teller, immediate similarities can be heard to artists such as Tame Impala, Pixies and the newly reformed Failure. It’s a well thought-out piece of distorted psychedelic pop, from the drone organ riffs to the way the song effortlessly weaves between the two singers; a promising and engaging reason to keep listening.

As well as the two revolving vocalists, Menace Beach have a shiny ‘supergroup’ line-up, with MJ of Hookworms, who also produced the EP, Nestor Matthews of Sky Larkin, Robert Lee of Pulled Apart By Horses and ex-Mansun member Paul Draper occasionally featuring on their bill. But despite the origins of the musicians, the result doesn’t feel like a mash-up of all bands included. It’s clear that what all these musicians have in common is a heartfelt love for music that was made 20 years ago.

Honolulu brings out a heavy guitar breakdown redolent of Pulled Apart By Horses and Hookworms, but it also suggests a more Pixies-fuelled influence. This is seen in the general buzzed-out feeling of the track, along with its solid bassline. Adding to the EP’s 90s vibe, Where I Come From is 2.5 minutes of catchy psych-pop that isn’t too far away from sounding like Blur during their grungey 13 era.

Low Talker is a promising start for Menace Beach. Although the distortion on the album can be overwhelming at times, it generally gives them more of a recognisable sound. The vocal arrangement between Needham and Webster also ensures that they are more noticeable than other artists operating in the same grunge and psych arenas. For fans of nostalgic modern music, this is certainly worth a listen.

Verdict: Catchy, grunge-tinged psych-pop

Tilly Dowman

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