Mallory Knox ‘Wired’
Mallory Knox have surged to the forefront of British rock with their debut studio album ‘Signals’ in 2013 and hastily followed it up with their second album ‘Asymmetry’ in 2014. Their return has been highly anticipated and the latest release with Sony Music seems to be another step in the right direction.
- Mikey Chapman – Lead vocals
- Sam Douglas – Vocals, bass guitar
- James Gillett – Rhythm guitar
- Joe Savins – Lead guitar
- Dave Rawling – Drums
- Giving It Up
- For you
- Better Off Without You
- Falling In Love
- Lucky Me
- Come Back Around
The opening track of the album ‘Giving It Up’ was the first single released from the album to promote the record, and seemed to have just the effect that was desired. A song that describes a rather relatable feeling of wanting to simply escape the day to day grind, with Mikey’s vocals exploring new ranges not really heard before from the band and Sam’s backing vocals more passionate than previously, ‘Giving It Up’ serves as a welcome introduction to the album.
The album continues on to ‘California’ which has the sense of a little experiment that the band took on, to make a slightly more mainstream, mellow and less dramatic song. If I am to be 100% honest, my opinion on this tune changed completely when I witnessed the performance at KRAP’s Karnage event at Keele Uni. Mikey described it as the closest they have to a party song and those few words allowed a totally different viewpoint on the song. It really is a piece that seems outside of the MK comfort zone but one they execute well; not perfectly, but well enough, it will be interesting to see if the band produce any more in this vein.
The title track of the album follows, and really brings the record some momentum, the song seems good, but unimpressive until halfway through, building to a climax closer to the end, and shows off the band at their very best.
A change of pace sees ‘For You’ highlight the struggles that individuals can go through, how these can affect a person and how they can affect a relationship and the things that people will do for one another, a touching and tuneful addition to the album. ‘Midnight’ follows and introduces a blend of Mallory’s original style with a more pop-like arrangement, working a little better than ‘California’ as Mikey’s falsettos are still evident and adds a much better feel to the track.
‘Better Off Without You’ once again sees the group return to their core sound, the song (about the antidepressant Citalopram) is a candid and personal take on how it can feel to need the intervention, and the trials and tribulations that come with it. It is very much a song with an air of desperation about it, which may be one of the reasons why this is one of the band’s best tracks to date.
Fans of the band will recall the song ‘She Took Him To The Lake’ from the ‘Asymmetry’ album: a seven minute epic which builds and builds and builds. ‘Falling In Love’ seems to be a partial replication of the formula that made the older song so great. Again the air of desperation is evident, but this time it is not with such negative connotations as the feeling of ‘Falling In Love’ despite any effort not to that Mikey describes can be seen very much as a positive emotion depending on your viewpoint
‘Lucky Me’ was released online just prior to the release of the album and was described by the band simply as a song about sex. It certainly encapsulates the euphoria and passion of the experience and how nothing else seems to matter in the moment.
‘Saviour’ for me is the peak the album, where it is outlined to the listener that they have to make their own luck in the world, and not wait for some divine intervention, a build to the crescendo in the track is equally the largest impact of the album itself, with an apocalyptic feel and the strain in the voice of Mikey evident, this gives the record a much-needed climax.
The album then allows us to take a step back and calm down and concludes with the marginally more solemn sounds of ‘Come Back Around’ which again is more pop sounding than what we know Mallory Knox are really great at, one of the more forgettable songs they have produced, before ‘Mother’ brings the album to a close, a more emotional song, with echoes of ‘1949’ from the ‘Signals’ album, a reminiscent and touching end to the record.
Overall, the band have produced an album which both underlines their ability to create riff-laden hits, but also captures the feel that the band is not quite at its best yet, with some tracks on the album not quite sounding as good as we know they could. Still an album the band should be immensely proud of, but it will be interesting to see what comes next.
Highlights: Wired, Giving It Up, Falling In Love
Author: Jordan Hayman