Malachai – Ugly Side of Love

Its equal parts weird and bloody obvious: like looking through a fisheye lens.

A mental record and no mistake. To say that this LP nods its head to various sixties styles is an understatement. But that probably won’t prepare the listener for the sonic mash ups that occur. Now, as a rule of thumb, records that thrive off references and rehashes really need something else. I’d say the main reason that this particular record is so good is that the band boasts an attitude a mile high. It’s just so damned confident and refuses to acknowledge that the music created is in any way derivative. Rather, the various inspirations (psychedelic Mod records to be found on compilations like Rubble and Pebbles, The Pretty Things, The Action, et al) been put through some kind of Malachai filter and fitted with a trip hop sensibility to drive them on.

A measure of the record’s confidence can be gauged by the nature of the opener Warriors: rather than trying to grab anyone’s attention, the track slinks into view; a heady mix of trip hop and lazy indulgence. The up-tempo, jumpy Shitkickers revisits this mix of sampled beats and psychedelic mod albeit at a furious pace. Snowflake is a growling challenge using the most obvious chord structure known to mankind. It works through brazen attitude alone.

Psychedelia isn’t far away at any point; Blackbird and Fading World are dead ringers for Parachutes era Pretty Things, whilst there are plenty of tracks that seemingly float in and out of the record: Meeches and Only For You for example, are brief druggy interludes that make the whole listen more fuddled. Lay Down Stay Down takes the Love-infatuations of the La’s or the Pale Fountains and turns them upside down. Another Sun invokes the ghosts of Mason Wood Capaldi and Winwood... but not quite. Its equal parts weird and bloody obvious: like looking through a fisheye lens.
Interesting to see what they do next.