By Deb Gardner
Mallen are a five piece heavy rock band from the West Midlands, originally formed in late 2013. The band line-up is Dann Pritchard on guitar, Kelly Jane Mallen with vocals, bassist Joe Horton, drummer Tom Crowfoot, and Rhys Broomhall on guitar.
A mutual love for Hot-rods, “Greasers” and heavy rock was the inspiration for the band as they worked on their first EP, Ignition. Mallen performed a string of gigs which included opening for bands such as Toseland and Funeral for a Friend, not to mention a slot on the LG Forum stage at the NEC Birmingham during Motley Crue’s farewell tour. They have since released singles, Jack of Cards and Owes You Nothing, which have been well received by fans.
Since then there has been lots happening for these guys in their personal lives including the marriage of Kelly and Dann and fatherhood for Tom, but this hasn’t stopped Mallen from performing numerous live gigs whilst working towards the release of their new EP This Dream which is due for release on 16th October 2017 and was recorded at Red City Recordings and produced by David Radahd-Jones.
This Dream has an imposing presence, which is created by the powerful lyrics and compelling vocals that are on display throughout the song. It could easily be a sound track to a film due to its dramatic content. An excellent title track for the EP which Mallen must be very proud of, and I must say is my favourite song. The Otherside is another deserving track featured on the EP with the classic Mallen signature sound. The heavy guitar assaults on Own Worst Enemy coupled with the powerful vocals from Kelly-Jane make this a formidable illustration of the band’s capabilities. Lyrics such as ‘guess what, you just made me your own worst enemy’ and ‘I see it clearer than I’ve ever seen, staring back at me my own worst enemy’ demonstrate the mood of the track, and show how the band has evolved lyrically.
Owes You Nothing is a stunning musical demonstration, courtesy of the striking vocals. Lyrically moving, this track is packed full of accomplished drumming and proficient guitar work which perfect the song. ‘Wait and see, it’s not too late, don’t lose sight of your morals, everything will fall into place’. A brilliant song which makes you want to sing along particularly as the song builds in momentum. Jack of Cards finishes the EP off with its heavy drumming and catchy guitar riffs. The urge to rock out to this song is compelling.
In summary, this EP demonstrates the undeniable power that Mallen have to produce such an epic catalogue of intense and formidable music. This Dream has some solid new tracks with the back-up of two of the best that Mallen have released previously. I’ve been lucky enough to see them live a few times too, which I would definitely recommend, as the showmanship from these guys is not to be missed.