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Article by ollie    (10-24-07 06:10 PM)



The Malah - Voyage of Radiowaves


CD Review

By David "Jaimoe" Ball


The Malah - Voyage of Radiowaves
I'm not an advocate of drug use, but I'd recommend taking a hit of something "funny" before turning on Voyage of Radiowaves, the first studio release from instrumental rockers The Malah. It'll help you hear the South Carolina trio's potential with more conviction than I do. It's not that I don't appreciate what they are trying to accomplish. The trio plays with emotion and has a knack for creating complex ambient music best described as a sort of trance/funk/jazz-rock picaresque. Brandon Maynard's guitar is lyrical throughout and Elliot Vaughn's fat-toned bass and Seth Fankhauser's steady drumming click well together. "Travels" and the proggy "Grounded" deserve some merit with their low level grooves and catchy layered melodies. In fact, all of Voyage's songs contain memorable slices, but for some reason the trio never goes for the jugular. The Malah seem content to stay in a state of musical meander during their group-jams, making Voyage a frustrating disappointment because almost every tune takes a long time to go nowhere. That's probably the point, but c'mon. It's also unforgivable that the two longest numbers "Jetstream" and the psychedelic title track never reach a peak or even attempt the climb. I'm hopeful that things get jacked-up considerably in a live setting, because without some sort of buildup and release, Voyage's barrage of mid-tempo tunes creep into easy listening territory, and that can't be the point.

The modern instrumental rock genre is one of the least known and toughest sells in the popular music world. Only a few contemporary bands have ever made a lucrative go of it. Some tweaking here and there and The Malah could carve-out a successful little indie niche for themselves similar in size to others of their ilk like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tortoise or even Steve Kimock. For now, Voyage of Radiowaves is best suited if you are in a really mellow mood looking for something akin to Phish's coma-inducing instrumental The Siket Disc, but I don't recommend listening to either while stone-sober. ** (out of 5)

Visit The Malah: http://www.themalah.com/



 
Username Comments
bradm
Taper
*
10-24-07 06:28 PM - Post#481458    


    In response to ollie

Live recordings of them are available at/via:

http://www.archive.org/details/TheMalah

Aloha,
Brad
If you get confused, listen to the music play.
You'll probably still be confused, but at least you'll be enjoying yourself.


 
Jam Wizard
Roadie
*
11-19-07 11:57 AM - Post#488374    


    In response to ollie

Just an opinion on this review.....

The Malah is not a JAM band really. They are a Down Tempo Electronica act. See this band live.... then maybe re-review them. www.myspace.com/jamwizard

Thanks for the props you did give out! We appreciate all reviews...even negative ones! But seriously, the live show is INSANE and does get the blood flowing. They just played Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak, FL and they have shared the stage with Widespread Panic's Jimmy Herring, so they must be doing something right! But I am biased....and I do enjoy a toke before most JAM BAND shows!

Peace and light!

James
Jam Wizard Productions
Asheville, NC
 
Jaimoe
Legend
*
11-19-07 10:03 PM - Post#488523    


    In response to Jam Wizard

In a nutshell, my main beef was that the band never amped-up the intensity. The songs have lots of good melodies and they boys are talented players. I don't really like the term jam band and I don't care for many bands in that genre either. Oh, and I never referred to them as a jam band, but if Jimmy played with them, welcome to the jam band scene. I love Jimmy (and he's a nice guy too).
  • Ms Zimmy ridiculously Said:
I find the [White Stripes] music boring and their fans really suck.




 
Jam Wizard
Roadie
*
12-06-07 10:51 AM - Post#492354    


    In response to Jaimoe

Hear ya on that....we opened for Jimmy's Trio. These days it is hard to not get lumped in that genre, and I personally like most of the bands in it, but reviews should review the music as it is, not as a comparison to other Jam bands. No disrespect her at all my man, I just think you should go see them live or check out some of their live stuff at their Sonicbids page..... www.sonicbids.com/themalah Again, thanks for your input, and I hope to see another review after you do see them live!

We will be on the new Home Grown Music Network Compilation #8! Pick it up at the beginning of the year at www.homegrownmusic.net

Peace and light!

James
Jam Wizard Productions
 
Jaimoe
Legend
*
12-07-07 07:24 AM - Post#492617    


    In response to Jam Wizard

I'll see The Malah live if and when they can clear customs with a valid visa. And by the way, without a point of reference and since no one on this site knows the band, comparisons are necessary. I could have compared The Malah to other indie instrumental bands, but no one outside of Ontario would have gotten the references.
  • Ms Zimmy ridiculously Said:
I find the [White Stripes] music boring and their fans really suck.




 
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