Leeds five-piece Menace Beach are the subject of a whole lot of hype, with appearance on BBC, The Guardian and NME on the back of their first album Ratworld, which showcased an interesting mix of indie and, strangely for a combo from Yorkshire, surf rock. Their second LP, Lemon Memory (limited edition vinyl comes pressed on lemon scented yellow wax) brings more of the same formula.
The album kicks off with a few abortive guitar stabs before Give Blood really gets going. This is a sludgy 2 chord lumbering riff monster of a tune. The structure of the song is incredibly pop-based, but the instrumentation lends a depth and grit to proceedings: the guitars wail, the drums are huge and it is all topped by an undeniable Yorkshire drawl. So far, so good.
Next up is recent single Maybe We'll Drown, which adds spooky keys to the garage rock recipe. The rhythm section creates some interesting atmospheres but the simplistic, repetitive melodies become somewhat grating over the song's length. It is a little dodgy, but definitely not the worst thing on here. That accolade goes to either the plodding, directionless title track, or the stupid, insipid Can't Get a Haircut, which could be one of the most bizarre (yet strangely characterless) songs ever put to tape.
It isn't all bad though, as the band take in a number of flavours and create some great cuts, such as Darlatoid; a Weezer-esque ballad which plays on subtlety to make a point and Sentimental, which employs a motoric beat and a deeply impressive guitar led instrumental section. Elsewhere the band go all baggy on Owl, which is a confusing delight.
Overall, there is a superb EP hidden away amongst the fluff on Lemon Memory. Is it worth the hype? Probably not, but this is a band who clearly have a great LP in them. Maybe next time.