Review: Wired

Friday marked the release of Cambridge band Mallory Knox’s third full length album, Wired.  Hype for this record started building when the band released its lead single and opening track, Giving It Up: you can watch the music video for the track here:

Giving It Up is a fantastic opening to the record, with its bassy, grungy introduction and vocalist Mikey Chapman changing up his usual style to favour a falsetto in the chorus.  In fact, I pre-ordered the record on the strength of both the lead single and Better Off Without You, so it’s safe to say I have big expectations for Wired.

The second track, California, is an awesome song with summery vibes, and not just because it references the golden state in its title.  Its huge chorus with layered backing vocals bring to mind the image of driving down a palm tree lined boulevard, with the windows down and car speakers blasting.

Lyrically the record is even more personal than the band’s previous efforts: For You and Better Off Without You discuss bassist/vocalist Sam Douglas’s struggle with mental health and use of antidepressants in a raw and honest way.  These tracks are definitely the jewels in the Wired crown: Mallory Knox are at their best when being open, honest, vulnerable, and willing to take chances.

Another favourite is the gorgeous Falling In Love: it starts slow and quiet, with the focus on the emotion in Mikey’s voice, which builds with more layers of raw vocals and powerful guitar riffs as the track plays out.  Plus, Lucky Me is arguably Mallory Knox’s most aggressive track yet, and I absolutely love it.

That’s not to say that Wired is perfect, however.  Midnight is a pretty generic track, with little imagination in terms of the instrumentals or its lyrical content.  It’s not an awful song, don’t get me wrong, but to me it screams “filler” and the album wouldn’t have suffered if it hadn’t made it on to the final track list.

Overall, it’s obvious that Mallory Knox have grown and matured as a band when comparing their latest album to their previous records, Signals and Asymmetry.  The band have grown together, and are experimenting with new musical elements without leaving their signature sound behind.  The band’s incredible atmospheric choruses and thought provoking lyrics have evolved and simply become better and better over the years.  Mallory Knox are already doing pretty well for themselves, but I predict Wired will help launch the Cambridge lads towards further success.

Highlights: California, For You, Lucky Me, Saviour, Mother

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