“Mallory leaves the man she just married and hits the road, alone, without knowing her life’s about to change dramatically… Across the USA and as far as the Mexican border, starts her initiatory journey where love gets mixed with violence and death. That’s how Mallory learns the tragic cost of freedom… Just as turning forty-seven, she meets four French musicians in a shady bar in Paris: Phil the singer, Mat the bassist, Jé the guitarist and Twist the drummer. As they make friends with each other, they decide to write a musical biography recounting her life…”
Hailing from France, Mallory is a blues rock fuelled band which this week unleashes their second album 2. To be honest there is little background we can share about the Parisian band and only by its title assume the release is the band’s second full-length, but what is easy to reveal is that their new encounter is an increasingly gripping and invigorating proposition. The passage above is the premise of the release, the tale of “A girl on the road with a gun in her hand and music in her ears…” The narrative behind and within tracks definitely make for a vivid and cinematic spark for the imagination which the fully flavoured blues and melodic rock invention of the band soundtracks and colours just as potently. It was a slow persuasion initially, though an instantly enjoyable one but over time it is fair to say that 2 provides one richly satisfying and increasingly impressive proposition, maybe not one that lingers long after departure but in its company only pleases without reservation.
Opener Awake emerges from a stormy atmosphere around words from the tale’s protagonists, an intro soon bound in spicily enticing grooves and punchy beats. The song is swiftly strolling with a shadowed rock ‘n’ roll air around a rhythmic swagger, the track bringing hints of Dommin to bear on thoughts as it ignites a hungry appetite for the release. The guitars continue to cast a web of riveting grooves and sonic enterprise whilst bass and drums prowl with skilled temptation alongside the great gravelly vocals. The track is the perfect incitement to start things off; a magnetic lure to grip attention which the following Big Nails twists tighter with its own muscular stomp. Rawer in breath and passion, the track is bred from similar seeds to its predecessor but with gnarly riffs and basslines colluding with the heavy swings from Twist for a caustic tempest, the song is soon sculpting its own individual infestation of ears. The guitar of Jé is a constant tangy baiting alongside the throbbing tones of Mat’s bass, the pair forging an imposing and fiery union matched by the just as feverish vocals of Phil.
The darker presence of Ready steps up next, its first stroking of the imagination somewhere between Volbeat and Misfits in sound but with a subsequent seventies heavy rock flame to its enterprise and a raw blues toning to its ravenous caress, again becomes its own smouldering fire of craft and sonic expression. Its psychedelic air is only a lure for the imagination and senses to devour the song’s suggestiveness, setting up the listener for the even more incendiary success of Bad Monkeys. The breath of The Doors in its predecessor is a clearer spice to the opening of the third track, vocals and guitar uniting for a sultry stroking of thoughts which in turn sparks a slowly broadening melodic intrigue and rhythmic drama in the track. As the previous song, neither quite equals the might and riotous tempting of the first pair but both easily and swiftly leaves ears and appetite greedy for more
The short melodically fuelled instrumental Somewhere, the piece like ray of warmth within a climactic atmosphere, leads into the pulsating swing of Summer Rain. Rhythms are straight away swaying with devilry and seductive funk seeded vivacity whilst around them guitars and vocals shimmer with evocatively gentle resonance. They are soon breaking into their own feisty and fiery suasion of bracing riffs and sonic grooving though, to match the constant lively prowl of the beats and another pulsating bassline. A definite familiarity walks the song, as all tracks in many ways, but it is from an indefinable source which only adds to the increasing appeal of song and release.
The sizzling blues fired enterprise of the guitars is a constant spark in songs, a tempting as inescapable as the anthemic rhythms and bass coaxing, not forgetting the impressive vocals, and virulent bait in the striking presence of Heavy which comes next. Vocal roars, devilish bass seduction, and incendiary flames of sonic acidity combine to make a fascinating weave of musical adventure and drama, the song embracing ears and imagination with something which is best described as Pearl Jam meets The Birthday Party with Down for good company.
The album is completed by firstly the rugged terrain of Runnin’, rhythms again as anthemic as they are skilfully unpredictable whilst sonic enterprise is arguably at its most riveting and searing yet on the release. Once more there is a sense of recognising what you are hearing but it only inflames the success and potency of the irresistible song, especially against the dramatic texture of vocals. Its triumph is followed by the acoustic elegance and emotion of Something, a more than ok melodic blues hug on ears bringing it all to a charming end.
2 though making a strong first impression, is an album which grows and thrills more potently over time musically and lyrically. Its potential suggests that Mallory is a name we might be hearing much more of and through acclaim coated breaths.
2 is available now @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/home/175_mallory-2.html
RingMaster 24/11/2014 and
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