We don’t usually feature artists twice within a month but apart from the fact new releases are drying up for Christmas now, Mall Girl intrigues me.
Their last single, ‘Inzane’, was a prime example of how you never know which direction they are going to shoot off in next. On one song, I don’t mean on different ones.
You might recall that I paid homage to some of their previous reviews last time out (“stuttering drums and ragged peals of guitar are set against warm, effulgent vocals”, and “adding crushing guitars to candy-coated choruses, obliterating and then rebuilding the verse-chorus-verse structure).” Ah, ok.
Well yes, they do all that but what this trio adds up to is a band that you can never allow your attention to stray away from because by the time you get back on track they might as well be playing a different song altogether.
This one starts of briefly as a ballad before it becomes an interchange between a math-rock piece on the guitar and a soft rock concoction that sounds very much like boerd’s (Sweden) excellent ’Before we drown’ (I could swear it’s the same drummer, but it isn’t) and then exits by way of a brief hard rock jam that wouldn’t sound out of place it if was slotted into ‘Freebird’. And all in less than four and a half minutes.
The song, according to singer Bethany Forseth-Reichberg is about ‘situationships’ (I wonder if that word got into the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary along with Word of the year ‘Rizz’?). I suppose you have to have Rizz to get into a Situationship.
More specifically it’s about the fear of committing to something that feels real and more sustainable than the hazy nights when you’ve lost your phone and possibly some of your integrity. So, she concludes, “When true love suddenly comes around, how do you know that you are ready for it? I don’t think you know, just have to jump into it and stop being a lazy girl.”
So that’s what they call them now? When I was Bethany’s age they used to call me ‘dithering Dick’.
The complete ensemble is extremely competent and tight musically while Bethany’s voice is both alluring and simpatico.
I have just one little concern and that’s about derivation. At times they sound more than a little like Pom Poko and somewhere along the line someone might criticise them for that.
But I won’t be that person. There’s more than enough here to convince me that they have the talent and innovation to challenge Das Body for the title of Norway’s most original rock band of the moment. And incidentally I know they’ve shared a stage with that band in the past. If they do that again it would merit another bank breaking splash on a ticket on Superexpensive Airline System as I believe the national airline is called.
The band’s new album ‘Pure Love’ is out on 26th January 2024 via Jansen Records, their second after the 2022 debut full length album ‘Superstar’. ‘Super Lazy Girl’ is out now.
Mall Girl is:
Bethany Forseth-Reichberg (vocals)
Iver Armand Tandsether (guitar)
Veslemøy Narvesen (drums)
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