Mallory – 2

photo groupe

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 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 Covercaress, 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

http://www.malloryband.net/

RingMaster 24/11/2014 and

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Guano Padano: 2

Like a soundtrack to a disturbed world drawn from the imagination of Sergio Leone, David Lynch, and Robert Rodriguez, 2 the glorious new album from Italian band Guano Padano, lights up every aspect of the body. The release awakens the senses, incites thoughts and imagination whilst using feet like a puppeteer with their contagious heated sounds and rhythms. The album is outstanding, a release which fits nowhere but has a feast of delights for all.

The new album follows the 2009 self titled debut album from Guano Padano which had a limited release in Italy. Released through Ipecac Recordings, 2 gives the band a needed and deserved wider canvas to recruit from and it is hard to imagine their following not increasing dramatically as the album reaches many more ears. The trio of guitarist/multi-string instrumentalist Alessandro Stefana, Danilo Gallo bass/piano/organ and Zeno De Rossi on drums, unleash a series of cinematic instrumentals which evoke individual moments and lives within this golden world which dazzle and transport thoughts to new yet familiar soundscapes. Musically the band combines the fine flavours distilled from jazz, bluegrass, surf rock, country, folk, rock and more, to conjure a smouldering journey with a spaghetti western film noir breath. To be honest it is wonderfully hard to explain but very easy to immerse within and enjoy to the full.

The album opens with the short Last Night, a piece of music which is emotively elegant but comes with a blistered background and increasing intensity as it moves into the waiting heat of Zebulon. The second track gallops into view with an eager swagger and shimmering spaghetti western melodics. You can feel the heat sliding off the atmosphere which wraps the music and visualise sceneries of sand and bristling activity. There is also a slight surf spice to the composition which wakens the taste buds for the full flavour a little further on within Gran Bazaar.

The track is stunning, a sultry presence within the ear and a seductive temptation for the senses. With guitars either picking at notes to find their limits before snapping  or sending flames of sharp melodic  passion through the air, the track is an insatiable infection offering a fluid feast of Middle Eastern promise and surf romance within its mesmeric world. It is a near wanton tease which no one can or would refuse.

The album as each track passes into the imagination, shows fully eclectic sounds and ideas, the likes of the slow pacing Gumbo with its pulsating jazz whispers and evocative melodic showers, the excitable hoe down Bellavista, and Miss Chan with its hypnotic oriental kiss, all offering  new detours and experiences within the expansive journey. The last of the three starts off with a scratchy mesh of oriental radio voices and the plunking of traditional eastern strings before erupting into another sizzling fire of surf and Japanese sounds veined with acidic sonic guitar manipulations. As seemingly everywhere one is transported into an enveloping weave of picture telling emotion and sonic sights soundtracked by great provocative sounds.

2 is an album with every track leaving nothing but deep pleasure in their wake but as always personal tastes finds ones which stand out from the crowd and alongside Gran Bazaar there are two which ignite the fullest fires. Firstly there is Lynch, a track borne from the dark shadows and empty solitary street corners with just a lone jazz musician for a friend.  The track has a film noir breath but behind it there is a sinister and almost unworldly pulse, a hungry discord waiting to misdirect the melodic enterprise. It is glorious, arguably the most powerful of all the tracks and one which lingers in the mind well past its expiring notes.

As with their first album, the band brought in the talents of others on 2 letting the craft of the likes of Marc Ribot (John Zorn, Tom Waits), Chris Speed, and Paul Niehaus (Lambchop) grace the release. The other great highlight of the album Prairie Fire, the only track with vocals. It also features a guest, the inimitable Mike Patton. The track is brilliant, a song with the wicked grin of the devil and the mischief of, well Mike Patton. It is slightly schizophrenic with more than an air of a Gotham City villain to the vocal character. It is a rock n roll contagion of the purest sin brought with a wholly unique and inventive majesty to have one dribbling lust. If this song does not take Guano Padano in the ears and minds of the world nothing will.

The album ends with a cover of the Santo & Johnny track Sleep Walk, a song which has had numerous versions made of it and it has to be said Guano Padano do not do anything to make it their own. Against the excellence before it is just a pleasant kiss goodnight from the album to be honest and the only time the album drops its levels.

2 is a vibrant dream and escape rolled into one stirring and immersive journey. It gives only pleasure whilst inspiring thoughts to create their own landscape and companions for the trip alongside your aural tour guide Guano Padano.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/GUANO-PADANO/128526000583127

RingMaster 23/08/2012

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