The Mallard – Yes on Blood

The Mallard – Yes on Blood

On “I Listen to the Lyrics Last,” a song buried deep in the heart of The Mallard’s debut Yes on Blood, the shaky, rundown feel of the jaded guitar paired with grungy production depicts a stuttering ode to garage rock. Taking the bold grains of a jangly guitar and 70s inspired vocals that recall the late Janis Joplin, The Mallard take much of rock’s standard points and directly hit with strident music. The rock on their debut is neither uptight nor polished but it transcends beyond its influences into a drastically fun time.

The immediate enjoyment from Yes on Blood comes from the band’s easygoing, never difficult, always embracing take on music. The sounds emitted from the humble LP take control of lazy guitar riffs, chugging melodies and harmonies, and fading production for a neat take on what garage rock has to offer. Throughout the beginning strands of “Fog” the band decorates an ominous guitar riff with cloudy backdrops of stomping drums and lackadaisical vocals. While the overall sound is never exactly full, the sparseness allows for even-keel moments where everything sounds enriching and splendid. The aforementioned song rides a dark undercurrent provided by the menacing guitar, while on songs like “Candy for Brains,” the band employs much more psychedelic sounds. The effects on the vocals and the fast-paced guitar/bass duo digress on an overdubbed texture and the conjured sounds are fiercely supported.

For a debut release, Yes on Blood is certainly short on time (28 minutes long) but using this to their advantage, the band still amasses eleven songs of roughened sounds for what is a kindred identity. Many of the songs, like the closing “You’ve Got the Critics,” appear to be just taking off when they end; The Mallard enjoy shortening the standard chorus/verse demeanor for moments that are further improved. Songs are still endeavored with bridges and codas when necessary but even through a two and half minute song, The Mallard enjoys hearty results. On “Mansion,” they combine a lonely guitar with a ruffled bass line and they intermingle by and by for one of the album’s finer moments. The drums are always unassuming, I’d imagine the entire outfit sounds much better in a live setting – short or long, the results are remarkable on Yes on Blood.

While the rawness of the release is surely something to note, it’s definitely not about the overall lo-fi affect, the jagged vibe, or even the liveliness of the band but moreso the direct result of excellent styles abridged. The Mallard take control of their strengths and adorn them with challenged facets – catchy riffs and melodies, and an immersing chug – that make Yes on Blood a ridiculously easy success. Never about being too serious, maybe it is best to listen to the lyrics last and focus on all else, at least once in a while.

Castle Face Records