When Mallory Knox released their debut album Signals back in 2013, it felt like the band were the next big thing in modern rock music. Songs like Death Rattle and Lighthouse were incredibly popular among music channels and radio shows. However, after releasing their second album Asymmetry only a year later, it felt like the album didn’t carry on that same momentum. Don’t get us wrong, Asymmetry still provided some great songs like Ghost in the Mirror and Shout at the Moon, but it seemed to be an album that played it safe and thus failed in taking the band to the next level. After taking three years to relax, recollect and write, Mallory Knox have retaliated with their third album, Wired.
Three years marks the longest time the band have taken between albums and bassist/vocalist Sam Douglas has said “I want to prove that Mallory Knox are more than just nice guys,” in regards to their new album and sound. So with that being said, have Mallory Knox truly evolved with Wired? Or have they once again played it safe?
The opening track on the record, titled Giving It Up, was the first single from the album, released back in November 2016 on Radio 1. Before anything else is mentioned about this album, it must be said that Mallory Knox can sure as hell deliver a catchy chorus. Giving It Up proves to be an incredible opening for the band to mark their return. It possesses a new direction for the band whilst maintaining its rock element and the song will leave you singing the lines “I’ve done my time / I feel like giving it up” for quite sometime. Singer Mikey Chapman’s higher pitched vocals may come as a shock to some listeners, but after a few plays it’s clear that the single is one of the best they’ve ever written.
The eponymous track Wired has a specific guitar tone that seems to be the driving point of the album’s sound. Mikey’s high notes also dominate the chorus and whilst it will provide a nice change among their live setlists, with two out of the first three tracks featuring that same vocal style, it quickly becomes a little tiresome. However, songs like For You and Better Off Without You scream passion. With lyrics focusing on the problems of mental health (which the band have openly experienced), there’s a feeling within this album that is truly haunting and honest. When talking about the inspiration behind the album and the song Better Off Without You in particular, Mikey stresses the importance of mental health awareness: “Our music helping with the understanding and promotion of mental health awareness is an incredible thing, and a wonderful bi-product of something we wrote to help ourselves.” and we couldn’t agree more. The lyrics touch upon the difficulties in a way that hit home to those who have shared the same thoughts and feelings and that is a credit to the band.
As the album progresses it opens up more and on the whole, the quality improves. Having an album that seemingly gets better and better as it goes on is somewhat of a rarity, but the boy’s have managed to do just that. Falling In Love and Savior exemplify that whilst the whole product doesn’t share the formula, when a song does tap into the band’s emotions it delivers. They may not be huge hits on the radio, but for fans and the band’s catalogue, they’ve gained immensely.
Despite the album not being flawless and lacking a couple of ‘big’ songs, it’s certainly something that Mallory Knox should be proud of. Wired takes the band into a new era, one that is a bit more daring and hopefully one they can build upon for their future.
Mallory Knox‘s third album Wired is out now.
A much-needed development on previous material sees the band take a step in the right direction.