Malamute
Breathe Deeply, Horse


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
December 16th, 2008 | 14 replies | 4,878 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Synth driven, progressive, post...pretty much everything.

Malamute - a large breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) originally bred for use as an Alaskan sled dog and is often mistaken for a Siberian Husky.

After listening to Breathe Deeply, Horse, the debut album from the Mississippi based Malamute, it's immediately obvious that the band either had no idea that the aforementioned animal existed and simply thought the word would be a cool band name, or simply named themselves Malamute to be ironic. To fully grasp the irony, one needs to have a small bit of background information on the physical attributes of the Alaskan Malamute. For example, Alaskan Malamutes are quite terrible at maintaining speed and momentum over relatively long distances, and if there is one thing Malamute excels at, it's maintaining momentum, as there is nary a hiccup or misstep to be found throughout the duration of the album.

To fully describe the sound of a band like Malamute can be tricky to say the least. At times, the music they present can be soft, melodious, and airy, other times dark and brooding, and occasionally dissonant, thick, and heavy. Heavier synth driven passages give way to head bobbing groove sections, which swell into thick and oppressive sections filled with overly fuzzed out guitar, then break into mathy passages, followed by slowed down stoner metal (ish) riffery, and that's just the first three minutes of I Married Common Street Trash. The greatest part of all this is that throughout all the time changes, mood shifts, and genre mixing, nothing every feels awkward, the momentum is never lost, and nearly every transition is smooth and completely natural. To pull off feats such as this, it goes without saying that every band member needs to be fairly competent with their respective instruments, and Malamute is no exception to the rule. Guitarists Aaron and Chips (who sadly is no longer a part of Malamute) not only display ample technical ability (for examples of this see the slightly spazzy solo sections in the previously mentioned I Married Common Street Trash, as well as the interestingly out of key "harmonized" leads in Castrate Karate), but also provide great examples of how to use effects to enhance particular riffs and leads (i.e. heavy fuzz being used to make the slower sections more lumbering and "huge", reverb and chorus effects to add to the spacey elements presented in some of the post-punk passages, and so on). I think it goes without saying at this point the rhythm section is also very talented. Spence's ever present and grinding bass is constantly shifting from walking basslines and short stacato bursts, to rumbling chords and even a few pseudo-lead parts, and drummer Allen displays obvious prog influences through oddly timed and interesting beats coupled with sporadic fills.

The album is also just as strong vocally and lyrically as it is instrumentally. Spence's vocal delivery, much like everything else, is constantly changing. Sometimes it's rather gruff and loud, others its very subdued and harmonious, and when called for the delivery switches to harsh yelling, and occasionally raspy screaming (usually present in the background). The lyrics are fairly simplistic in nature, but not overly simplistic. Basically, poetic enough to be interesting and simple enough to be relate able. I guess the best way to illustrate that is by example, so here is a little snippet from Wyoming.

"Wyoming, you've drained the blood from our veins out,
10 below and whited out, you'll kiss us, now just another 20 more miles.
Never will we speak of this night again, what could possibly go wrong?
Last drive, to Denver,
Never To Arive."


While none of the elements or ideas presented on Breathe Deeply, Horse are earth shatteringly revolutionary, everything presented manages to feel fresh and new, a feat which is not easily attainable. Hopefully, with time, the band will be able to further develop their already extremely solid sound and garner attention from a much wider audience. For an album so excellent, it's a shame that many will probably either overlook it, or simply not be exposed to it.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been swamped with school and other things for a while so I haven't had much time to write. Hopefully this review hasn't suffered from a lack of practice. Anyway, these guys really deserve a bigger audience. I would put up some recommendations but I honestly can't think of anything. If it helps they're on the same label as Ganon, El Chupa Cobras, and Dysrhythmia, so I guess just think those bands with more profound indie, post-hardcore, and post-punk emphasis.This Message Edited On 12.16.08

fireaboveicebelow
December 17th 2008



6837 Comments


is there any way you can break up that mammoth paragraph?
this looks really good, getting now

marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I tried to break it up a few different ways, but every time I did another mammoth paragraph was formed in the process, and that was the smallest one :/ haha

bastard
December 17th 2008



3435 Comments


it's fine.

nice review.

fireaboveicebelow
December 17th 2008



6837 Comments


To pull off feats such as this, it goes without saying that every band member needs to be fairly competent with their respective instruments, and Malamute is no exception to the rule
do you think this could be a good break off point or no?

I can't find this, all I get is pet websites This Message Edited On 12.16.08

heyseuss
December 17th 2008



384 Comments


Sell me a wallet?

marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know that whole paragraph is dealing with more or less the same set of ideas, and splitting it there makes the first half of it look very small in comparison.

I can't find this, all I get is pet websites


They aren't terribly well known so the album might not be in to many blogs or things of that sort, but you can listen to a few of the songs on their myspace.

myspace.com/malamutebandThis Message Edited On 12.16.08

fireaboveicebelow
December 17th 2008



6837 Comments


my my this is really good, I kinda want to just buy it right now

marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

do it

Tyler
Emeritus
December 17th 2008



7926 Comments


they sent me this ages ago but I never could get anything written.

marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Digging the crap out of this...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2008



20856 Comments


This must have been a f**ker of a review to write Brent, especially since the band seem so out there.
To be honest, the review doesn’t read all that well (especially early). Many of the sentences seem to be too long and contain way too many commas for my personal liking… But I can’t help but feel that was indirectly as a result of the fact that the review was a difficult one to write.

marksellsuswallets
December 18th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see what you're saying. There's just so much musical ground covered on the album, and so many different things going on at the same time, it gets difficult to put into words without being to...well...wordy.

theoisbrutal
December 20th 2008



33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow. Thanks to you and your good review, I have discovered an amazing new band to listen to. These guys are good! I like it.



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