Male Bonding set out their lo-fi stall in May of last year with Nothing Hurts, a debut widely regarded as paired down, efficient and effervescent. Now it’s time for typically troublesome second album Endless Now to step up and prove that Dalston’s favourite trio can marry their ‘live for the moment’ philosophy to your attention span.

If you’ve ever fist-pumped to Japandroids or swayed sagely to Lovvers, chances are Endless Now will feel like a soothing dip into a familiar lo-fi hot spring. If you’ve never bathed yourself in their sweaty tones before, expect gorgeously fuzzy guitar tones, rollicking beats and melodies that verge on pop-punk. And was that a cheeky hand-clap? 

The album’s title is surely a statement of intent; Male Bonding don’t care about making an enduring epic or or reinventing their sound for the sake of more hype or guaranteed album sales. Two and a bit minute deluges like ‘Carrying’ and opener ‘Tame The Sun’ are good honest fun very much in line with the Male Bonding oeuvre, and the lengthier ‘Bones’ (in six minute plus shocker!) displays a pleasing willingness to adapt that garage sound to a slightly different dynamic. The end result is hardly subtle, but it does allow for a little more layering and atmosphere building, coming perilously close to encroaching on shoe-gaze territory.

As with Nothing Hurts, each song has a heartfelt resonance of sorts and despite the majority of the songs being very much of a milieu. It takes a certain joie de vivre (excuse my French) to breathe life into this sort of music and breathe life into it Male Bonding certainly do, to the extent that it’s easy to be swept along. Conversely, the drum/guitar/vocals arrangement and constant mid-tempo do blur the songs together. If you’re in the mood for a no strings attached head nodding session then this is by no means a bad thing, however the more variety hungry amongst you may well start to flag after the initial 15 minutes or so.

In short, Endless Now is more of what you love about Male Bonding and a borderline more accessible album than Nothing Hurts’.  It stands up well to casual re-examination, and at 6 minutes longer than their debut (which ran to roughly half an hour) it certainly doesn’t pretend to be an unattainable epic. No, this is a sudden stab of sunlight (if not a breath of fresh air) meant to invigorate, and then to melt inconspicuously away, leaving you better equipped than ever to enjoy that perpetual present.