Menace Beach at The Portland – Live Review

live reviews A lovely evening of fuzzy alt-pop

Menace Beach brought their big riffs, effortless choruses and dynamic wonder to The Portland last week.

Having released an early contender for lo-fi record of the year, a stronger record than its predecessor and having not played Cambridge when touring said debut album, anticipation was ripe. The Leeds outfit didn’t disappoint as they debuted their zesty themed new album and older favourites.

Their debut record, filled with enthusiasm for fuzz pedals, woozy melodies and lurching guitars leads to inevitable comparisons in sound to the grunge era. However the stall has been set differently for the band’s sophomore attempt. Ditching a hold to their clear influences, Dinosaur Jr, Pavement and Galaxie, ‘Lemon Memory’ sees the band venture into a more expanded and psych styling. Live tonight its these newer numbers that catch the attention, in particular the excellent ‘Suck It Out’ ‘Can’t Get A Haircut’ and the addictively creepy ‘Maybe We’ll Drown’.

The catchy, pummeling earlier material was also in bloom tonight. Tracks like ‘Elastic’ ‘Drop Out’ and ‘Tennis Court’ off their ‘Ratworld’ debut showcasing their scuzzingly gratifying take on ’90s American underground and pre-Brit Pop indie. ‘Tastes Like Medicine’ was a welcome inclusion. The track sees vocalists Liza Violet and Ryan Needham come together in harmony of a powerful slacker-style anthem. A favourite of their live sets, usually it’s enough to start a mosh pit but failing that, on a cold night in Cambridge it got a spirited singalong.

Earlier in the night the bloody brilliant Grieving opened proceedings. The Cambridge quartet fizzed through a thirty minutes of tightly-wound guitar riffs and wavering vocals. The set debuting a couple of new numbers, expect new recordings this Spring. Be excited. Fellow Leeds noise merchants Bruising completed the line up with a rocketing set of Pixie inspired fuzz laden guitar pop.

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