A favorite of music blogs, Menance Beach was formed in 2012 by frontman Ryan Needham and singer/guitarist Liza Violet of Leeds, England. The duo shares a name with the 90’s Nintendo game featuring a skateboarding protagonist, and shares their project with a diverse lineup of musicians. They’ve played with artists such as Nestor Matthews of Sky Larkin, Matt Spalding of You Animals, and Robert Lee of Pulled Apart by Horses. Ratworld was produced by Matthew Johnson of Hookworms.
Ratworld is “a journey through a psyche tinged wonderland” that ping-pongs back and forth between the band’s influences, from Pavement to Deerhunter, My Bloody Valentine, Ty Segall and more. Their sound is a blend of upbeat indie and psychedelic pop driven by fuzzy guitars and Needham’s drawn out vocals, which have a hint of his accent. The twelve tracks transition into and compliment each other well, from the shiny, shimmering “Elastic” to the softer, floaty “Blue Eye” and the laid back single “Tennis Court.”
Key tracks are “Drop Outs,” which starts out with a darker tone before plunging back into Menace Beach’s upbeat feel. “Lowtalkin’” is a high-energy song with a surf rock vibe, featuring a piercing, mosquito-like whine of a guitar solo.
Ratworld is set for release through Memphis Industries on 1/27 in the United States, and 1/19 everywhere else.