"the third face" is malorys third album. Since the band started in 1995 the quartet consistently celebrates the fusion of guitars and electronic sounds. In the center of the soundscapes there are layers of experimental guitar sounds combined with melody loaded dual female/male vocals of Daniela Neuhaeuser and Joerg Koehler; they both find themselves new in every song and give the music an unique appeal. They create an atmosphere that’s like a dream. malory’s sound embodies what is called dreampop: close your eyes and you can imagine how malory is playing the soundtrack to your favorite movie and be a part of it.
The new album „the third face“ picks up where malory left off on their second CD “outerbeats” (supermodern music/Indigo) but it takes things countless steps beyond: elements of electronic, house and ambient flows effortlessly into their music. Melodious, marvelously, un-hectic, hypnotic, floating, unmistakable, gorgeous … these are attributes the press uses to describe malory’s wall-of-sound. The new album „the third face“ does not only attach to these attributes, it reaches a higher stage and invites all its listeners to a journey through space and time.
malory were formed in 1995 by three friends under the influence of the so-called independent era and their favorite bands (Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Pale Saints, to name only a few). With a logical consequence spacey ambient sounds came out their rehearsal room and into the ears of a constantly growing number of fans. In their own digital recording studio malory is trying to merge variations of the classic pop tune with modern electronic and club sounds. In 2002 they found the ideal cast for the female leading part in Daniela Neuhaeuser.
In 2000 malorys debut album
„not here – not now“
came out (which has sold out completely) and an US label began to take notice of malory. In this way
the second album, has been released in the USA first – before German music industry and audience pay heed of it.
malory – live:
People who know malory by their CDs can’t imagine what to expect from a malory concert because the sounds are dreamy and ambient. But live there are more noisy guitars, beats and rock drums that gives the sound another dimension. Additional to the music there is a video projection to create a different atmosphere the audience can dive in.
In 2003 malory toured the East Coast of US and Canada. Furthermore they have already shared the stage with bands like Trembling Bluestars, Miles, Monoland or Bohren & the Club of Gore amongst others.
Hailing from Germany, Malory brings to the table lush sounds and gentle, engaging vocals. The band consists of Jorg Kohler (vox, bass, and programming), Daniel Hammer (guitar, programming, and vox), Daniela Neuhaeuser (vocals and guitar), and Jorg Jakel (drums). The Third Face is Malory’s new offering and it is their first since 2002. From what I hear on this disc, the wait for the new album was more than worth the wait. Malory is shoegaze at its best, with shimmering guitars and breathy vox.
The Third Face begins with “Sleeper.” This is a mid-tempo song with a backbeat, soaring guitars, and Jorg’s fantastically gentle vocals. The bass work is subtle and perfect while the keys lay down an calm ocean of sound for the rest of the music to lie upon. Neuhaeuser and Kohler’s vox play off one another as they support each other’s voices. “Silence Flows Through Noise” begins with spacey keys that are soft and floating. Then, an almost danceable backbeat comes into play. This is filled out with great bass work and Neuhaeuser’s and Kohler’s vocals. The variations in the sounds are subtle, but fantastic, showing that they are adept at both songwriting and mixing. Their sound is captivating and hypnotic. “She Has Gone” begins with bass, keys, and Kohler’s vox. This song reminds me a lot of Slowdive in its feel and sound. Eventually, this changes and Malory’s sound starts to creep out from under their influences. I really like when Neuhaeuser backs up Kohler because her voice is so subtle and a perfect companion to Kohler’s soft, male vocals.
“Take Me Down” begins with a trance type beat and floating, echoing vocals from Neuhaeuser. Elements get added to the mix as the track progresses until there are soaring keys and a dance/electronic type feel to the song. This song has all the makings of a mixture of shoegaze elements and 80’s techno pop/new wave. It is well executed and infectious. “Endora” has an almost light, hip-hop drum feel with glimmering guitars and great bass work. This is a slow temp song with vocals taking a more prominent role in the mix. The bridge of this song is probably my favorite part because the guitars really create a beautifully crystal wall of sound. “Track 11” has a great danceable beat in it and it leans more toward the techno side, with 80’s new wave influences. This may be one of my favorite tracks on the disc, with its danceable grooves and angelic vocals. “Ajar Door” has the same feel to it and is the shortest track on the disc. This reminds me of a mix between The Human League: Octopus and Slowdive with a sprinkle of great dance pop.
“Ray of Hope” begins with somber guitars and it flows into great percussion and bass work. The beat is slow and patient while Neuhaeuser sings softly over the keys and glittery guitar. “Want You” begins with shimmery guitar and a tribal drum beat that is complex and exciting. Neuhaeuser’s vocals are breathy and gorgeous over the beats and the layers of guitars. The drums and bass eventually fad to leave the walls of sound made by guitars. “City Lights” is a bit of a shock to the listener with its fuzzy drums and odd beat. Between the beats, the drums, guitars, and guitars begin to hum. This song has a very hypnotic and lovely feel. The pace is perfect and the arrangement of the song exquisite. Last on the album is “Wake Up.” It begins with Neuhaeuser’s vox in angelic hugeness, with a back beat coming in and soaring walls of guitar. The vox are certainly very Goswellesque, but the German accent really gives her vocals a different flavor and sets Neuhaeuser apart from the Shoegaze goddess. This track is a very strong closing to a very strong album. If you love shoegaze or techno pop in anyway, this album is for you.
score: 4 1/2 of 5 stars
Tornano i tedeschi Malory a quattro anni di distanza dal precedente bellissimo "Outerbeats", ed è difficile non pensare alle mille difficoltà che il gruppo ha dovuto fronteggiare per arrivare al traguardo del terzo album. Qualcosa della magia presente nei precedenti album sembra essersi persa. Non che manchino le canzoni potenti e sognanti in puro stile shoegaze a "The Third Face", tutt'altro: Sleeper, il brano che apre album, ne è un ottimo esempio; e poi anche Silent Flows Through Noise, She Has Gone, la bellissima Endora, Want You, Wake Up, quindi, a ben vedere , la maggior parte delle canzoni dell'album sono buone. Semmai è la freddezza di alcuni arrangiamenti a destare qualche perplessità (Take Me Down, Track II, Ajar Door). Le chitarre sono sepolte sotto beats elettronici che sanno tanto di Hyperium anni '80 le voci sono alte nel mixer come non lo sono mai state prima. Anche i suoni della batteria acustica sono inaspettatamente asciutti e freddi. Impossibile pensare che sia mancato il tempo ai Malory per perfezionare la resa sonora di queste canzoni. Molto più probabilmente sono mancati i fondi per chiamare un produttore che sapesse esaltarne le qualità. È solo un sogno, ma pensate cosa potrebbe fare uno come Jonas Munk dietro il banco di regia dello studio dei Malory: ne verrebbe fuori un album epocale, c'è da scommetterci.