Dunedin trio Males have made a surprise release of their first album proper today. It’s called “None The Wiser” and it’s all kinds of wonderful.

It’s hard to pick one stand-out track from an album of 9 standout tracks but here for your listening pleasure & examination is “Chartreuse”:

It immediately proclaims the new order here. It’s just as melodic as anything Males have done before, but the cartoon pop is now a bit darker, angrier, and the sugar a bit dirtier and stickier. It’s as good as anything on a classic early Spoon album “A Series of Sneaks” if you are familiar with that US bands’ catalogue.

The album crackles with the kind of sonic energy of their live show. The songs are more expansive and adventurous, mixing squalling garage guitar mayhem (“Go!”) with more progressive post-pop elements and lyrics addressing the existential dilemmas of living in “this city” right now.

Males are guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Richard Ley-Hamilton (who you will also hear in action in Space Bats, Attack!) and bassist Sam Valentine (also drummer in short-lived jangle poppers Trick Mammoth) with Paul “Pipsy” McMillan on drums.

Ley-Hamilton is the most technically gifted guitarist of the new generation of Dunedin guitarists and he uses that skill in tasteful, creative ways throughout the album.

Males released a debut LP called “Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales” in 2013. Strictly speaking, that 21 minute 45 RPM LP was a ‘double EP’ as it combined an earlier self released EP, a single and a 4 song EP of new recordings at the time.

This proper debut album was recorded at the end of 2014 by legendary recording engineer Tex Houston (The Clean, 3Ds etc.), who Sam had worked with on the Trick Mammoth album and the subsequent 7″ picture disc single released as part of UK indie-pop label WIAIWYA‘s 2014 singles club.

Treat yourself to a download now and play it loud and often.