Mamalarky - Mamalarky Music Album Reviews

Mamalarky - Mamalarky Music Album Reviews
The Atlanta indie-rock quartet’s debut album stands out from their contemporaries’ laid-back melancholy with complex instrumental interplay that inspires lean-forward listening.

Mamalarky’s tenderly tangled indie rock has the internal logic of ridiculous jokes shared between band members after spending weeks on the road together. The young Atlanta-based quartet’s touring plans were curtailed like everyone else’s in 2020, but they’ve had more than enough time in each other’s company to develop an idiosyncratic musical language. The sum of friendships and collaborations dating back to their teenage years, the band’s debut album melds flashy instrumental moves with head-sticking hooks and lovesick lyrics welcoming anyone into their private world.
Singer/guitarist Livvy Bennett met drummer Dylan Hill on the first day of middle school in their hometown of Austin, and they joined forces with keyboardist Michael Hunter (a member of shaggy rock revivalists White Denim) in 2016, first calling themselves the Wipeout Gang before settling on Mamalarky—a name they have jokingly mocked for its similarities to a Joe Biden catchphrase. The band’s 2018 debut EP, Fundamental Thrive Hive, shows slightly less restraint than their debut album, with Hunter’s synth flourishes veering towards zany, but the foundations of their sound were already in place. During a stint in Los Angeles while Bennett joined alt-rockers Cherry Glazerr, bassist Noor Khan entered Mamalarky’s orbit after they put out a call for musicians on Tinder. Swiping right proved to be the correct decision, as they leveled up into a tightly stitched prog-pop unit.

While Mamalarky are ostensibly an indie-pop group, they stand out from the laid-back melancholy moods of contemporaries like Soccer Mommy or (Sandy) Alex G with complex instrumental interplay that inspires lean-forward listening. Whether tearing into the album’s fast-paced songs or swaying through its quiet numbers, Hill is rarely content to play a simple backbeat, punctuating stop-start rhythms with splashy fills like exclamation marks in the middle of a sentence. Basslines bob in lockstep with the guitar’s rapid zigzags, and Hunter paints with splatters of synth in moments like the dazzling conclusion of “Cosine.” On Mamalarky’s most energetic rippers, “Fury” and “Schism Trek,” they sound as frenzied as Deerhoof, while the simple and affecting “You Make Me Smile” recalls the understated arrangements of that band’s former guitarist, Chris Cohen.

Bennett’s vocals hold down the melodic structure of Mamalarky’s various approaches, with a sardonic chanted delivery on “Drug Store Model” or a soft lilt through “Hero.” She repeatedly evokes feelings of fleeting romance, from the sweet reminders of “You Make Me Smile” to the sweaty sheets of “Almighty Heat.” This falls apart on “Schism Trek,” when someone’s absence painfully takes over her imagination: “You are my muse, you are my crush/I sit and think of you too much.” With the exception of tossed-off references to “the Hilton and Bill Clinton” midway through “Fury,” her lyrics avoid the world outside her head, and even then sound years removed from current events.

With this much creativity, it’s unfortunate that the band falls into predictable patterns on wordless bridges or codas that start to feel samey after 10 songs. The spidery instrumental “Singalong,” on the other hand, is a smart sequencing choice to mix up the album’s flow, while “Big Trouble” has the most notable tweaks to their formula. Its warbling sound matches the look of the group’s charming lo-fi videos as they swap out choruses with affirmative shouts and gleefully messy guitar solos. In unexpected moments like these, Mamamlarky sound like they’re capable of inventing a new musical dialect altogether.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mamalarky - Mamalarky Music Album Reviews Mamalarky - Mamalarky Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, December 10, 2020 Rating: 5

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