A Talk With Mallsex
A fresh release from Mallsex brings a unique combination of melodic and fuzz tone feedback-driven songwriting with an amazing line walked between pure pop undertones and an edgy garage soundscape.
"Fish Scales" is an absolute soiree of a track as the guys bring on their own unique take on a catchy alternative pop style.
The way that they blend and overlay these gritty and massive guitar tones with vocals that are melodically based but show so much character is inventive and somehow has an almost graceful feel to it.
It's really quite an interesting and very cool thing because you have a song that embeds its backbone in a deep-rooted distortion that feeds the song and throughout that, you also have overlaying guitars that play melodies and the vocals that are singing in harmonies so you get this full body and super lush feel all in all.
The way that the song is so heavily edged but still has this coming sensation to it that lets you kind of float around in it is really crazy.
This band has a very unique style and approach to how they do their thing but you can always tell that there's a genuine love for the craft involved.
I think that may be the most important aspect to the whole track because you can actually pick that up in the song itself.
The recording gives off the fact that this is a passion project and it's purely done to be able to create music that's a bit outside the box but still has all these pop elements to it.
The release showcases a very impressive and slightly envelope-pushing approach that has become the staple sound for Mallsex since the start.
Now, we're no strangers to the band because we've reviewed their stuff before, and with each new track they evolve a bit but they always manage to stick to their roots.
More bands should definitely follow suit with things like this because not enough of them have the ability to do both of those aspects.
The style of this track is very addictive and it is essentially a pop song but just done in a different way and I think that's where the inventiveness comes in.
For example, if you're into alternative pop, Progressive pop, Post Punk, alternative rock, or indie rock, you'd absolutely love this track.
So it's great to be hearing more and more come from a band that paves their own path in the pop world like these guys do.
The single is released as part of a "best of" compilation called Odd Times: The Collector's Edition.
With the release of this new single, we wanted to have a sit-down with the band to find out where this came from and what might be next for them.
Here's what went down.
TSWS: Let's start things off with Fish Scales! This track certainly had a great edginess to it and still kept to a pop feel for sure! What is this track about and how did it come to be?
MS: It’s about a person that we no longer know. We thought they were one thing, and they became something completely different, something ugly. It was recorded right before the pandemic hit (within a week or so) and came together very quickly, like most of our material.
TSWS: So you guys have a unique sound and it must be influenced by a number of bands. Give us a few!
Sean: We came together and bonded over our love of post-punk - bands like Protomartyr, Preoccupations, Metz, as well as 80s and 90s stuff like The Pixies and Jesus Lizard.
Stuart: Also influenced by bands like Killing Joke, Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths, Bowie and bands like Swans, Daughters....
Sean: There’s lots of good new stuff too. Shout out to Just Mustard!
TSWS: Have you guys known each other for a long time? Were you friends before the music started?
Sean: We definitely met playing music together. Just jamming away in a room with some other people. We quickly realized we had a lot of shared musical language. We got so excited about the creative possibilities we could unleash together we decided to form this duo, MALLSEX.
TSWS: What's your set up like recording wise? You have a home studio you work from?
Stuart: Since the inception we have been DIY. I have a home studio where the first two albums and 2 singles were recorded. I Record, Produce and Master our material but it’s very much a collaborative process.
Sean: We record and collaborate remotely these days, so I also have a home recording setup where I can lay down my tracks and send ‘em on over to Stu.
TSWS: Are you going to be doing any music videos for this one?
Sean: Yes! We have a video in the can for Fish Scales. It’ll be released on April 20. There’ll be some imagery in it that’ll say something about the times we live in, with ai being on top of mind for me lately. Watch out for it on our YouTube channel!
TSWS: Do you perform live shows at all?
MS: Yes, we have in the past and we will continue to. With covid-19, we ended up moving away from each other and collaborating remotely. We are gearing up to play some shows and festivals in the summer, when the opportunities are ripe.
TSWS: What kind of things inspire a song for you?
Sean: It could be a lot of things. Sometimes it’s something I’m feeling from what I’ve seen in the news, it could be a personal relationship and having to get something off my mind, it could be something I’ve encountered at work. Sometimes it’s a film. I tend to write lyrics in “stream of consciousness”, and then at a certain point, maybe weeks or months later, have an epiphany and realize what I meant.
Stuart: I’m inspired by many things. Sometimes it could be a sound or melody or an experience. I could have a memory or have heard a story that gets sort of synthesized into a song or into lyrics. I tend to enjoy things that are on the dark and noisy side.
TSWS: Anything else coming out in the coming months?
MS: We’re in another band called The Ringing (@TheRingingBand). It’s a bit more on the industrial and experimental side than MALLSEX. It’s another outlet for our creativity. It’s a chance for us to get real weird!
TSWS: What would you say is the absolute best part of doing what you do?
Sean: It’s all about creating something you're proud of at the end of the day. I live to create. There’s no better feeling.
Stuart: For me it’s creating something from nothing and conveying an idea. It’s really exciting when people connect with us on a musical level as it feels much more personal and provides inspiration to push the limits.
TSWS: Is there anything sort of advice you'd give to other bands out there that are up and coming?
MS: Be yourself and play authentically.
TSWS: What do you guys want to say to fans of the music?
MS: Thank you. You somehow found us. We appreciate you, you weirdo.