A drastic change from previous releases with commendable lyrical sentiments.
Mallory Knox‘s return to the pop-rock scene following past successes Signals (2013) and Asymmetry (2014) comes with promises to reinforce the band’s place in the industry and demonstrate a shift from their usual sound. Guitarist Joe Savins has even claimed that their earlier work “doesn’t represent what we get out of music,” and for fans that must set off alarm bells. Wired‘s singles (‘Giving It Up,’ ‘Lucky Me,’ ‘Better Off Without You,’ ‘Saviour’) unsurprisingly presented an altered sound and sparked general disappointment due to a lack of catchy hooks, missing the mark especially in addictive lyrics and sounds in some aspects for Mikey Chapman’s passionate vocals.
Despite these early grievances, Wired clearly raises their game with commendable lyrical sentiments. It’s impossible to listen through and not notice the difficult issues the band is trying to address: inspired by a variety of issues and subjects from sex to mental illness, the album is clearly laced with both hard-hitting and easy-going topics. ‘Better Off Without You’ faces the problem of flippant anti-depressant prescriptions, whilst ‘Falling In Love’ paints the titular concept as demonic. ‘Saviour’ is revolutionary, attempting to shift religious dependence and ideology of waiting for change towards proactively making a difference.
In terms of influence, the album incorporates sounds of other popular rock bands – ‘Midnight’ and ‘Come Back Around’ slightly echo sounds the pop-punk strains of All Time Low (and in particular ‘Six Feet Under The Stars’ and ‘Therapy’) whilst ‘Falling In Love’ takes clear inspiration from Biffy Clyro. There is, however, a persistent lack of structural clarity and a continued dearth of good refrains. The Mallory Knox records of old were filled with structurally complex moments, yet on Wired few tracks demonstrate significant variations between verses and choruses, which simply seem to happen and blend away as the composition blends together.
Wired is released on March 10th via RCA