Despite the absence of co-founder and creative stimulus Jordan Malane, Alex Wall has ploughed ahead to record the first Bleeding Knees Club release since 2013.
But this is no part-time effort. In recruiting new members (Michael Barker, Gio Alexander and Nick Leighton), Wall’s output is held together by the same set of devices – those garage pop tropes that have stood him in good stead throughout his career.
Chew The Gum possesses a sense of surface-level familiarity, but on top of that, retains a distinct energy twice as developed. Sonically, the EP plays like a smorgasbord of exuberant Nuggets-style raucous and jugular tones that waver along the peak of the ’90s, owing as much to the classic Californian skate punk sound as they do to The Beach Boys.
The EP clocks in at just over ten minutes, and even though Bleeding Knees Club do short tracks well, each song really is as long as it needs to be, the brevity never strained or surprising.
From the rambling vocals that swell across guitar-scuzzed pools in ‘Cyber Doom’ to the buoyant layers of longing and reflection in ‘Sun House’, the overarching feeling is one of sparkling bliss.
Bleeding Knees Club’s Chew The Gum is out now through Inertia.
[Bleeding Knees Club photo by Christo Herriot]