With the unexpected departure of frontman Mikey Chapman last year, Cambridge rock quintet turned quartet Mallory Knox have pushed forward with their fourth release.
The self-titled record sees bassist Sam Douglas taking lead vocal duties as the group carve a new sound and clear identity with a clean break from their previous work.
Opening with dirty grooves and rhythmic vocal lines, ‘Psycho Killer’ sets the bar high for the record. Taking a linear rock ‘n’ roll style works well for the group, with the track balancing simple yet catchy riffs with sing-along choruses whilst also making use of both guitarists, James Gillett and Joe Savins, as bluesy solos duel with stamping chords as the track reaches its crescendo.
Taking a breakneck pace to structure and packing each track with accessible yet irresistible riffs, the record keeps momentum throughout. Apart from a few exceptions, any track could’ve realistically been chosen as a single. One of said single choices, ‘Livewire’, utilises fast legato leads and jagged guitars to prop up Douglas‘ energetic vocal delivery. Whilst the track doesn’t deviate too far from its main hooks, by teasing the riffs throughout it doesn’t outstay its welcome, and makes a strong impact.
Granted, every track on the record could garner heavy radio rotation, but this isn’t to stay that the quartet plays it safe. ‘Black Holes’ packs chunky chords on top of a biting lyrical commentary, with lines such as “Grow a spine and cut your teeth” being delivered with utter conviction. Navigating through the bursts of angst and building octave chords is Dave Rawling, attacking the drum kit with power; he creates an integral foundation to the furious track.
Showcasing their knack for melody and swinging grooves, ‘4’ opens with sing song vocal ad-libs alongside stabbing chords and angular riffs. Sounding like a muscular Artic Monkeys, the track marries pumping bass lines with descending vocal hooks to keep the energy on the second half going.
Ending on the bratty and urgent ‘Guts’, the track crams hammered drums, jarring chords, and snappy vocals into a brief yet memorable finale. Acting as a closing statement for the group, it highlights the attitude of the record, favouring quality over quantity.
As the record closes, Mallory Knox stand undeterred and have not only proved that they’re only just beginning, but that they’ll be continuing to spearhead towards bigger audiences with bolder sounds now in their arsenal.