The history of Mallory Knox is fairly well-known. Their sharp ascension began with 2013s debut full-length ‘Signals’ and accelerated with its follow-up, ‘Asymmetry’. With it came a Top 20 chart position, a stint on the Vans Warped Tour and a well-received UK headline tour. While the argument of “is rock represented enough in the mainstream?” can be left for another time, Mallory Knox are certainly leaders of the so-called “Brit Rock” moment; breaking through the glass ceiling of the underground.
Nevertheless, their rise hasn’t come without criticism, but it’s clear ‘Asymmetry’ showed they found a winning formula. Now after some time away re-evaluating themselves, ‘Wired’ has arrived. At first, there’s a strong sense of familiarity as ‘Giving It Up’ carries itself with a big slick and infectious chorus. Whereas ‘California’ is an arena-made number that emphasises Mikey Chapman’s vocal chops. ‘Midnight’ provides a lightweight tribute to late night drives, while ‘Falling In Love’ is an ineffective slice of adrenaline-filled rock.
As you delve deeper into ‘Wired’, there are signs of a new, lyrically unhinged Mallory Knox. The titular track tackles mental health, before album highlight, ‘Better Off Without You (Citalopram)’, speaks on the reliance of the antidepressant drug of the same name. ‘Saviour’ bluntly sees Chapman state there’s “no God coming to save us all” as he encourages listeners to take account of their issues.
So will ‘Wired’ change the mind of the naysayers? It’s unlikely. For all of its lyrical intrigue, stylistically there is little evolution on show with the familiar bold, polished take on modern rock firmly intact. Throughout Chapman’s vocals soar with passion and conviction, with Joe Savins’ lead guitar work thrives and James Gillett’s stirring rhythm guitar adding to their big sound.
It’s a record that is sure to satisfy longtime fans, yet proves unable to match the lyrical rawness on offer.
‘Wired’ by Mallory Knox is released on 10th March on RCA.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)