Mallen were one of the superb acts who treaded the boards of our stage at Wildfire Festival this summer just gone. As such, when their new EP appeared in our inbox for review, I jumped on it. Featuring five tracks including previously-released single “Jack of Cards”, it’s turned out to be a cracking little release.
The band themselves are a five-piece, formed in 2013 and with kick-ass female frontage courtesy of Kelly-Jane. Ably backed by Dann and Rhyss on twin guitar, Thomas Crowfoot on drums (and backing vocals) and comparative new boy Joe Horton on bass, the band are firing on all cylinders and have on their hands a belting collection of hard rock tracks.
From title track “This Dream” through to “Jack of Cards” that rounds things off, there is no let-up. This is a grinding, pounding, fast-paced rocker of an EP. Having said that, it’s packed full of melodic moments and earworm riffs. Top of the lot has to be the chorus to “Own Worst Enemy”, but it’s only winning by a nose over “The Otherside”‘s crunching intro.
While there is a slow-down in tempo with “Owes You Nothing”, this is still a quality song and not quite the laid back ballad it could have been… and I mean that in a good way. Where the band could have gone for acoustics and tambourines, they’ve kept things electric and gone for power territory instead. It’s still a “lighters in the air” song, and an emotional one at that. You just have time to get over those neck-hair chills before “Jack…” kicks in and reminds you that these guys can get you bouncing as well.
With quality production, great songwriting and top performances across the board from the band members, this is a handful of tracks that deserve a home in any rock fan’s music collection.
This Dream is out on October 16th, 2017