Friday, 29 January 2010

Album Review- Malory- Pearl Diver

Naturally a quiet month for album releases, there have at least been a few on my radar. The Delphic album, a disappointment on the whole, has been reviewed elsewhere on these pages. And we all, of course, have taken note of the outcries of "new musical genius" that have greeted the 2nd effort from These New Puritans. I have yet to listen to it, but, based on the reviews I have read, I suspect, to these ears at least, that the "experimentalism" involved could also have been achieved by me recording the sound of my own farts in an empty school corridor. We shall see..
It was with some relief then that I saw the 4th album from German Shoegazers Malory also drop a couple of weeks ago. Having been around since as way back as 1995, when their debut album "Not Here, Not Now" was released, they have been swimming very much against the tide ever since, with their brand of effects laden, reverb drenched swirling drowning in a populist sea of mediocre Britpop jingle-jangle. Until recently that is, as in the last 5 or 6 years there has been a gradual re-awakening of interest in and existence of this much-maligned style of guitar based indie rock, culminating in the reformation of the true godfathers of the Shoegazing genre, My Bloody Valentine. Outbreaks of very long fringes, banks of effects pedals at gigs, dry ice and a landscape of musical and lyrical darkness are being seen all over the country again (thank Christ!), and the mainstream success of bands like Glasvegas and The Horrors, and their use of distortion, has led the music press to invent the laughable term "New Gaze". But at least it's back in the national consciousness for the first time since Kurt shot himself, and unwittingly paved the way for Suede, Blur et al to take over the world in the mid nineties, and bring all of us dreamers back down from their sonic clouds.

It is abundantly clear from the moment opening track "Floating" breaks from its 2 minute poetry recital (in French- apparently written by Astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet and presumably about black holes and the time-space continuum- or something), and explodes into 5 minutes of instrumental, cascading gorgeousness, that Malory have definitely listened to early nineties Thames Valley scenesters Slowdive. It might be an updated Slowdive, with additional synths and a hint of Trip-Hop in places (hovering around the Massive Attack/Hybrid area), but the dreamy, spacey quality of their early EP's and "Just For A Day" long-player can be heard throughout "Pearl Diver", with the boy/girl vocal contrast providing further evidence to build a case for Malory being a pretty good copyist.

There are, of course, 2 schools of thought with this particular scenario. The first of these is that Malory should be told off and dismissed for not having original ideas of their own. The second, which I tend to want to believe, is that it is as if the original Slowdive are still around and producing the kind of new blissful, crystalline tuneage that "Pearl Diver" is actually choc-full of.
This is a far more generous and accommodating slant, and therefore one that I shall attempt to take whilst listening to the album...possibly with my eyes closed and dreaming of 1991 and Rachel Goswell's gleaming white guitar..

Malory- Floating (get past the poetry bit, please)
7 out of 11


  1. leave populist Britpop jingle jangle well alone or I'll punch you on the nose!

  2. Thanks Rick B for that. I think, that is the best if you walk up right to the hill and then you can feel the air. I like it and I will take this with me to my next weekly walk.

  3. Cheers Wieb, glad you like it..

    As far "Anonymous"'s threat of physical violence is concerned, it would make you appear a lot tougher if you signed in and revealed your identity, you great big Jessie..DOWN WITH THE POPULIST BRITPOP JINGLE-JANGLE, DOWN WITH IT!

  4. See that's even worse, I was on your team when I thought it was just the mediocre you were dissin, but now you've gone and written song 2 out of the equation too. Lift your head from your shoes and cut your fringe.

  5. It's not too bad, Rich. Although seven minutes takes it a bit beyond my attention threshold, so I just dipped in and out of it. Then I had to turn the sound down because I couldnt hear Harry Hill. From what I heard though it seemed alright. The video was a bit dull, mind.

  6. I feel it necessary to point out that I was not responsible for any of the above anonymous posts. Thank you.

  7. Nope that was me and I owned up

  8. Sounds good Rich, could I permanantly borrow a legitimate copy from you please?