The British rock scene has a new big boy in town.
Cambridge five-piece Mallory Knox have released their highly anticipated second album, Asymmetry, to follow on from their debut record, Signals, which was released back at the beginning of 2013. Following a string of high-profile performances this year, and with a headline tour that starts in November, the alternative rockers were under pressure to produce a record that would live up to their growing reputation and growing expectations from their loyal fan base. And boy, have they delivered.
From the outset Mallory Knox said that they would not stop editing, tweaking and rewriting until every song on this album was worthy of theoretically having the capability of being a single in its own right. Not only has this promise been fulfilled, but each track on this incredible album deserves to be there and does not sound out of place. A lot of artists nowadays attempt to include a wide range of tracks in order to show off their “versatility”, but quite a few of these are then guilty of including tracks in an album which sound out of place and almost awkward. These five lads from Cambridgeshire have been able to show off their versatility and their musical prowess, without having to include any song which is vastly different to any of the others.
The album fittingly kicks off with the first single that was released from Asymmetry, ‘Ghost In The Mirror‘. The track starts with a gentle, echoey crescendo that builds towards an onslaught of guitar riffs, expert drumming and on-point vocals which have become synonymous with Mallory Knox and their ability to produce catchy verses and lyrics with every track released. Throughout this whole album, one cannot help but stop and admire the vocal capabilities of frontman Mikey Chapman, who has developed his range enormously since Signals nearly two years ago. Would it be too much too soon to put such expectations on young shoulders by starting to compare his vocal ability to rock anthem Gods such as Jon Bon Jovi and Stephen Tyler? Perhaps… But then again, perhaps not.
Following ‘Ghost In The Mirror’ is arguably the best and certainly the most popular track on the album, ‘Getaway’. When the band released Asymmetry, each band member asked all of their followers over their various social media accounts which track was their favourite, and ‘Getaway’ was the clear winner. It is arguably one of the gentler tracks on the album, along with ‘Heart & Desire’ and ‘Lonely Hours’, the guitar is not as distorted, neither is it overpowering at any point, but the chorus is extremely catchy and it will guarantee to be in your head over the next couple of days after listening to it. You can imagine the lyrics of the chorus being chanted back at the band during any live show that they play.
The best thing about this album is the way that each of the five members work together with their respective instruments to create sounds, riffs and hooks which are very easy on the ears. As an example, in the introduction of ‘Fire’ the bass drum accents the bassist’s playing wonderfully in order to build a solid foundation for the guitars to jump in and drive the track forward into the first verse and coming choruses. Conversely, in ‘She Took Him To The Lake’, the band’s self-confessed favourite song in Asymmetry, they produce over seven minutes of pure bliss, intwined with huge choruses and silky melodies where it is the guitars which work together in order to create the underlying foundation to the track, before the backing vocals appear and then the drums and bass pound away in order to take the song up to a new level.
The album finishes with ‘Dare You’, which to many is seen as the most complete number on the record. All the best attributes from the album are brought together into this one song. A chorus with emotional and powerful lyrics which you will be humming, whistling and singing for the rest of the day and in your dreams; guitar riffs which any budding rocker would be longing to learn to play; subtle bass and drumming which are almost telepathic with each other; and a bridge that is not rushed and instead builds slowly before climaxing into a beautiful final minute of chorus that fittingly ends the song and the album as a whole.
The alternative rock scene has finally found a new band which can become the face of the genre. Mallory Knox have proved with this record that they are worthy of all the high praise they have received over the past twelve months and have delivered a record which backs up their own self belief, as well as the belief that their most loyal and die hard fans have in them.
I can personally guarantee that any lover of rock will respect and love this record, whether you have heard of Mallory Knox before or not.
Asymmetry is out now on Search and Destroy and Epic Records.