I don’t know what “Mals Totem” means… wait, yes I do. I think, and therefore I am, it’s a reference to the movie Inception. Mal is the main character’s wife who killed herself… maybe. That doesn’t tell you much about the band’s sound, but fortunately for you, you have me, and I will architect a way for you to hear the band through my dreamy words.
These guys have concocted an incredible combination of styles. The guitars have a clean yet overdriven tone, and the way in which they are performed reminds me of Umphrey’s McGee (jazz/fusion jam band heavily influenced by Phish). The vocal timbre and articulation makes me think of a hipper Matthew Bellamy from the band Muse. Put the two together, and you’ve got a hella good dip.
You are in store from some aural acrobatics whilst listening to this EP. They have gone out of their way to put as many twists and turns into their songwriting as possible without being chaotic. The builds are riveting, but I must warn you: if you are a haphazard music listener, you won’t appreciate what these guys have done. This is an “active listener” band, at least to fully enjoy what they’ve created.
My favorite aspect of their music is that you have countless segues into new themes. Skip through a song, listening to seconds at a time, and you’ll think you’re listening to numerous songs in one, but listen to it all the way through, and it makes perfect sense. I keep trying to figure out what is the glue? What holds these songs together, since there are so many elements throughout? Methinks it’s the bass. While lead guitars weave in and out of rhythmic ideas, the bass is your Gandalf, who leads you through the mysterious intricacies of Middle-Earth.
Final thought: Unlike a Tootsie Roll Pop, it will take countless licks to get to the center of Mals Totem. So, what are you waiting for?
01. Strangest Motion
02. A Crowd in the Attic
03. Jigsaw Falling into Place
06. Grind Tune
Run Time: 27:57
Release Date: September 16, 2013
Check out the song “Strangest Motion”