Though just starting less than a year ago, the upcoming Mall Walk EP reveals the band to already be compulsively listenable and exceptionally sophisticated. Just a few months after the band’s inception, the trio started working with producer-engineer Monte Vallier (Weekend, The Soft Moon, Terry Malts) at San Francisco’s Ruminator Audio Studio to create an EP that is alternately infectious and gritty, spare and expansive, world-weary and inspired. The collaborative self-titled Mall Walk EP will be released tomorrow (October 14) via singer-guitarist Rob I. Miller’s small label Vacant Stare Records. My Old Kentucky Blog premiered the first track, Teen Missing.
Drummer Nicholas Clark and bassist Daniel Brown represent the muscle behind the EP, whereas Miller takes a deliberately restrained, tactical approach to guitar playing. On Teen Missing, the cyclical exchange between bass and drums promises something surfy and rollicking, only for the song to conclude with two minutes of anarchic guitar that subverts expectations considerably. With Treadmill, the band constructs a huge, immersive space with as little as possible while Miller describes life as a boring slog through semi-comical disappointments. Yet the repeated refrain, Life is just grand, I know, conceivably becomes less sarcastic as the band finds release within the song’s repetitive phrasing. The track that best represents Mall Walk’s maturity, the concluding Pales in Comparison possesses a simplicity and apparent effortlessness you typically expect from a band that is many, many years old.