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This time around, Menace Beach are markedly different creatures

"Lemon Memory"

Release date: 20 January 2017
Menace Beach Lemon Memory
18 January 2017, 11:00 Written by Michael James Hall
Back in the heady days of 2015 when the world seemed a slightly more hopeful place, Menace Beach's debut Ratworld proved a heady, scuzzy delight - packed as it was with Ryan Needham's '90s college rock inspired dirge-pop and laced with Liza Violet's glorious, plaintive vocals.

This time around we're on the receiving end of what is very much Violet's record; a strange, woozy creation that capitalises on Needham's sense of awkward melody and brings to the table a sense of otherworldly oddity that sees them escape their influences and get to world-building in earnest.

The nihilist chant of lead single "Maybe We'll Drown" pairs beautifully with the filthy/floral "Suck It Out" - both are instantly memorable, tuneful, vaguely troubling.

Opener "Give Blood" hooks instantly with its' copped Kinks riff and cheeky lyric "Why'd you always sing about death?", lunging face first into a sludge-psych stomp that's as cool as it is cataclysmic.

On"'Darlatroid" we're treated to lo-fi spider leg guitar lines and slouching, sad words like "I can't even figure out if I'm lonely", while "Owl" has Violet pushing her vocals to heavenly heights, the band leaning into the ethereal while maintaining a winking dedication to scratched out riffs and hammer-ons. It's an atypical tune for them that nonetheless speaks to their willingness to do things differently this time around.

The shoegaze beat hits hard on closer "Hexbreaker II", Violet once again leading the band into clattering, curious territory, the gentle clash of hers and Needham's songwriting styles allowing real sparks to fly in apocalyptic fashion.

Lemon Memory is a markedly different creature to the Leeds band's debut and all the stronger and more tantalising for it - Menace Beach seem to be taking the opportunity of a rather ominous looking 2017 to create a pretty attractive alternative musical universe for them and their fans to inhabit.

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