Review of Super Transporterreum EP by Menace Beach

The thing about bubblegum is, it's ace. Does bubblegum take itself too seriously? No. Can you mess it around into all kinds of different shapes, then when you get bored immediately change it again? Of course. Finally, can it be used to underline your stereotypical outward signs of juvenile delinquency? Well, allow us to blow you a great big splatty bubble now.

Menace Beach Super Transporterreum EP

From Leeds - the city seems presently to have a conveyor belt of groovy, off kilter bands to jive to - Menace Beach arrived at the beginning of 2015 with the release of their debut album 'Ratworld', a feast of snarky, riot-grrrl pop-punk which was long on eyeliner and glamorous trash.  Not exactly hot on its heels but still kinda warm anyway, 'Super Transporterreum''s five new songs don't stray too much from the formula, but offer more proof that their mid-Atlantic retro drawl has legs up to its armpits.

Prisoners are not taken. The title track - so named after singer Liza's trippy case of flu and described by the collective as "Three bass guitars simultaneously doing a Bryan May riff" - is a foot stomping, Blondie as an x-ray mass of squawking overload, 'Beacher Ryan Needham turning the vocal ambivalence up to 11. If critics were being critical, there is an air of cookie cutting indie schmindie-ness to it, but with Hookworms prophetical MJ again on production duties the other ditties manage to avoid typecasting themselves. On 'Hey Toupe' for instance the addition of some psychedelic keyboard flourishes zap things pleasingly in and out of focus, whilst 'The Line' swaggers and 'Radiate Me''s peaks and fuzz will annoy the crap out of your parents/neighbours/schoolfriends for days.

This is all very well and good if you aspire to sound like you record your stuff in a shed with all the wrong pedals plugged in (although in, like, a good way), but on 'Ghoul Power' MB nail a huge, Nevermind-esque riff down until it bleeds, causing ripples that can only be measured on the Richter scale. The song is a totem for the possible, if these DIY-ers want it: maybe Headingley is still big enough for them still. Or maybe it won't always be that way.


Andy Peterson

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