Enter the new era of Mallory Knox: a punchy and carefree exposition that lays the band’s cards on the table once and for all. The new self-titled album from the Cambridge-born quartet is the first since bassist Sam Douglas stepped up to lead vocals after frontman Mikey Chapman’s departure last year. Whilst fans may require a little time to readjust, this is a sound that has clearly been bubbling under the surface for years.
Opening tracks Psycho Killer and White Lies offer guitar-heavy, melody-driven belters that confront the critics’ comments that their last record, Wired, lacked ‘catchy hooks’. This is not just a sonic confrontation but a lyrical one, as 4 roars out, "I’m hearing what you say, but I don’t give a fuck… You never mattered anyway".
However, it is on Wherever and Black Hole that the band cement their ability to blend gutsy and gritty riffs with raw lyricism, addressing familiar themes of internal struggle and mental health. Particularly on the latter track, Sam’s vocals really come into their own and confirm his potential to take up the mantle as lead singer. As Mallory Knox put their best foot forward amidst a sea of change, their lasting message, hammered home on final track Guts, is one of defiance: "get with the times or you’ll get left behind".
'Mallory Knox' is available here.