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REVIEW: Mallory Knox – Signals

Posted on Wednesday, 6 February by

Mallory Knox - Signals

4 Stars

If 2012 was the year British rock began it’s return to mainstream dominance, 2013 will certainly be the year it triumphs. That’s a very bold statement to make but it’s albums such as Mallory Knox’s debut that give us hope this may indeed be the case.

Forming in 2009, this five-piece from Cambridge have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time, receiving regular coverage from music publications both large and small as well as generating regular airtime on BBC’s Radio 1. It becomes clear why once you wrap your ears around ‘Signals’, an album that embraces catchy melodies and sing-a-long choruses to deliver a solid piece of rock and roll.

Opening track ‘Beggars’ unsurprisingly begins the album on a high note with a standout chorus and guitars reminiscent of Good Charlotte’s ‘The River’, whilst latest single ‘Lighthouse’ showcases Mallory Knox’s keen attention to melody and dynamics.

Every song on ‘Signals’ is well written and compliments Mikey Chapman’s vocals perfectly though it’s worth noting this is far from a faultless album as ‘Misdemeanour’ and ‘Hello’ unfortunately get lost in the mix after following the anthemic ‘Wake Up’ with its stabbing guitars and fist pumping rhythm. Similarly the ballad ‘Bury Your Head’ feels inapt within an album containing so much energy, yet it’s Chapman’s vocals that prevent it from being misplaced.

In fact it’s impossible to listen to ‘Signals’ and not be blown away by Chapman’s powerful voice which essentially acts as the backbone throughout. Whether it be the soulful warbles of ‘Creeper’ or the heartfelt emotion found in the melodic ‘1949’, Chapman is what holds Mallory Knox’s debut together and prevents it from becoming stale.

Ultimately ‘Signals’ is the start of what may be a bold revolution against the synthesised beats and autotuned vocals littered in mainstream music today though it doesn’t necessarily push the listener into new territories. If you’re looking for a record that will pick you up and one that understands the importance of dynamics and emotion within music then Mallory Knox should be your first point of call this year.

‘Signals’ is available on iTunes now.

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Arun Chamba

Arun Chamba

Music Critic at SQ Magazine
21-year-old English graduate from the University of Hull and music critic at SQ Magazine since 2012. Gigs. Friends. Traveling. Writing. Life.
Arun Chamba

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