Imagine having an itch for over twenty years which you have been unable to scratch, an unfulfilled moment that lingers and nags away year after year. That is how it has kind of been for Australian rockers Malakye Grind. This is a band which emerged in the early nineties and proceeded to earn potent attention, support and reputation within their homeland’s rock scene. Increasing success seemed destined yet as thoughts and anticipation turned to a first album it all came to an end. But now they are back and with the debut full-length the band and original fans longed for and all we can say is that it was well worth the wait.
Music For Midnight People is a feast of rousing songs and dextrous imagination; the band’s mix of hard and alternative rock with a more metal hardened snarl compelling within encounters which as that itch lingered within the Aussies will similarly nag away for your attention for a long time.
As mentioned, from stepping forward within what is called the golden years of Australian rock in the nineties, Malakye Grind soon courted eager attention, their Mind Buzz single causing a major stir as in turn did the Step Inside EP. Live the band were constantly touring around Australia in a blur of headline shows and support slots as well as across a host of festivals, sharing stages with plenty of ear grabbing bands. Then it went away on, we shall call it, an enforced hiatus as life and new adventures took control of destinies. Apart from a one off reunion show in 2012 where talk of an album resurfaced, the band never came together as such and still has not physically even as their album came to reality. The covid pandemic though gave all the time to bring talk to action and through the magic of technology, even with certain members now living on different continents, the creation and unleashing of Music For Midnight People.
Original members, vocalist Rob Smith (who went on to be part of some of our favourite bands here in Age of Menace and Horrorhead), guitarist Pat Burke, bassist Brook Rees and long-time friend in drummer Dave Sanders united new songs and tracks written back in time and now dusted off and injected with the new Malakye Grind punch for Music For Midnight People; the result a major pleasure the world may not have realised it needed but surely will greedily devour.
The band’s sound soon proves a richer and more varied proposal than our earlier tagging suggested, the quartet embracing a kaleidoscope of flavours in their imaginative weaving of styles and flavours, the individual and diverse experiences and adventures the band members have been on since those early days all adding to the drama and creative roar of an album which it is fair to say that from the moment opener Watch Them Burn rose up to teases ears had us hooked.
Swinging beats and taunting riffs manipulate song and the senses throughout the first track, Smith’s potent and familiar tones an emotive call and rousing incitement within the track’s eagerly simmering body. Flaring up in power rock nurtured eruptions, its anthemic prowess and web of involving hooks inescapable, the track alone triggered an immediate hunger to hear more which the following I Wanna Party fed with glee. It too simply uncages its most virulent aspects with its first breath, its celebratory holler of a chorus heading the greedy tempting and again Burke like a puppeteer springs the most edacious hooks and grooves.
Say The Words is next, an emotion fuelled ballad with its own lustful turmoil fed roar. There is a certain Sick Puppies hue and drama to the track and fair to say as its predecessors, the song held an unpreventable grip in individual fashion, its successor Chasing Sunshine repeating that success with its own sonically searing and melodically aflame blaze. A fire is the best description to give it, its heat and heart either a keenly simmering burn or a raging inferno and insatiably infectious throughout.
Appearances almost prowls the listener initially but it is all the laying of temptation which is soon bursting out within the song’s own intimate roar fuelled reflection. Though rhythms are controlled, again they stir the senses, the bassline of Rees a moody draw alongside the citric riffs of Burke to spread the perfect canvas for Smith’s declarations before the foursome simply seduced the imagination with All Our Nights. It is hard to imagine few Australian rock bands which have not been inspired to some degree by Midnight Oil and this outstanding offering suggests Malakye Grind is no different, the track a seductive yet raucously incendiary uproar that evokes and provokes.
That richness of variety in the band’s sound is again epitomised within Erase The Tape, an infection soaked track with a Red Hot Chili Peppers swagger and an Extreme like groove while in turn Take It All Away merges the metal bred instincts of Smith’s Age Of Menace with one explosive Sick Puppy meets Foo Fighters in uproar.
Even more intensely We Lost Control embraces that metal/heavy rock seeding, the sensational song an inferno of feral catchiness and anthemic tempestuousness with a definite punk veining adding to its impressive clamour. It left the senses sizzling and primed for the deviously skilled infection of Blue Meanies to seduce, a song to lead one’s own lungs and throat in mutually loud exclamation and another simply expanding the width of adventure in the band’s album and sound.
The album closes with Another Day, a final flame of emotive balladry unable to keep its emotions in reserve that serves up one blaze of intimate tempestuousness within a matching turbulence of imagination and sound. It is an exceptional slice of Malakye Grind prowess cementing the power and invention not forgetting craft in their songwriting and music.
And that is Music For Midnight People, an album which could be said to be long in the realising and swift in the addiction. Malakye Grind has easily uncaged one of our truly favourite releases this year and we see no reason why it could not be one of yours too so go enjoy.
Music For Midnight People is out now.
Pete RingMaster 02/09/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review