Malachai – Ugly Side of Love


“I know what I want and I’m not too proud to shout it” sings Gee Ealey half of Bristol U.K. duo Malachai although after listening to its debut it’s not really clear what the band wants. Ugly Side of Love mutates from reggae-dub freakout (“Warriors”) into classic rock mash-ups (“How Long” which steals the descending riff from Guess Who’s 1970 single “Hand Me Down World”) and then again into stoned-out acid rock (“Blackbird”). It’s as if the duo took every genre it loved from the ’60s and ’70s and ran them through a hip hop blender sampling and looping its favourite bits. The effect of this musical ADD is like listening to random selections from a prolific vinyl junkie’s record collection: certainly eclectic but not always cohesive. However the strong points of this album — like the straight-ahead garage-stomp of “Snowflake” or the Motown-soul of “Another Sun” — showcase a creative new band with strong potential.