Split singles work best when the sides are complimentary, at the very least share some aesthetic similarities. Good news here then – both duo Male and trio King Alexander exhibit post-punkah minimalism laced up with brewing black magic. Male are the cackling witches: two wailing ladies singing “woohoo / woohoowoohoohoo” with little joy and much menace. A teutonic chill surrounds each little statement; “It’s fish and cheese for dinner” begins to sound like a recipe for a death potion. Male are razor sharp. Male have precision. Male can stab you with words.
King Alexander take up the reins with 'His Nibs', tempo-swapping and group shouting. One moment they're proclaiming they are “thrifty and nimble / stealthy and wise”, the next dropping slabs of guitar thunder followed by a bass-line breakdown. As with Male, a cutting simplicity is the real attraction. All four tracks could be sneaked right onto a Rough Trade post-punk compilation without any suspicions being aroused. Even slotted between the Rogers Sisters, the Slits and Wire, these songs would stand their own distinct, serrated ground.
7Rachel Cawley's Score