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A Mighty Return for Mallory

By Mike Breen · October 21st, 2009 · Spill It
Cincinnati Indie/Post Rock trio mallory returned to the local club scene several months ago after an extended hiatus, and this weekend the band celebrates the birthing of its long-awaited second release, … Before It Grows. The seven-track effort is the group’s first since 2002’s the first one hundred years, a mesmerizing debut. The band’s CD release show for Grows is Friday at the Southgate House. Opening will be All Night Party label (theallnightparty.com) comrades The Sundresses as well as State Song, The Sleeping Sea, e.p. hall, Animal Circles and Lifelike.

On … Before It Grows, mallory has crafted a trippy, engaging exercise in sonic fluidity, stitching together seven magnetic soundscapes that roll together like a narcotic dream. The vocals and haunted melodies swim in and out of the waves of dense atmospherics (in a similar manner to what Doug Martsch does with Built to Spill), crafted largely with drums, synths and guitars. Grows is something of a headphone masterpiece — be sure to experience it with decent headphones (not buds) or nice speakers in order to catch all of the subtle trimmings and feel the surrounding ebb and flow.

The band’s psychedelic bent runs throughout Grows, helping to make it a collection of songs worth listening to together, but the individual tracks have plenty to offer on their own — there are so many shifts and underlying, percolating flourishes, each track deserves multiple listens.

“Kopvriet (Eating Head)” exhibits all of the band’s strengths impeccably — spectral melodies float on a bed of guitar dissonance and echoes, a slightly-distorted electric piano hovers above (a la Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter”) and the rock-solid drums guide the whole parade through tempo and mood shifts flawlessly. The song’s fuzzy, flowing ambiance will have you hunting for black-light posters and incense to enhance the dizzying effect.

Like The Secret Machines and Autolux, mallory makes modern Psychedlic Rock for the Radiohead generation. With … Before it Grows, mallory has made a “Best Album of the ’00s” list contender, local or otherwise. (www.myspace.com/mallorysounds)

More Local Notes

• This Saturday’s benefit for the Fairview-Clifton German Language School at Northside Tavern offers a good chance to catch not only some of the finer established acts around town (Culture Queer, Messerly & Ewing), but also some brand new groups. Honneycombs is an AltFolk group featuring Laurie Burnham (formerly of Second Sister) and James and April Combs (formerly of Arson Garden), while Darlene is another new trio consisting of Jane Jordon (Fairmount Girls, Meadoe), Rob Delongchamps (Meadoe) and Dana Hamblen (Fairmount Girls, Culture Queer). Music starts at 8 p.m. Details here.

• Local musicians interested in getting some cash for recording should hurry up and apply for the Red MacCormack Recording Grant, an annual grant given by the Rivertown Music Club. (Past recipients include The Lion’s Rampant, Kristen Key, G. Burton, Turnbull ACs, 500 Miles to Memphis and The Sundresses.) For information on what to send and where, go to www.myspace.com/therivertownmusicclub. Deadline for submissions is Oct. 31.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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