LIVE REVIEW: Mallory Knox @ O2 Academy, Liverpool – 14th November 2014

The past two years has seen Mallory Knox going from strength to strength in an unmatched fashion, claiming massive tours, huge festival slots and two fantastic albums as their own. Now, only a few days following the release of Asymmetry, the second of those albums, sees the band embarking on their biggest headline tour to date, gunning for that much-coveted position at the summit of British rock’s ever growing mountain.

Opening are Fort Hope [7], who, admittedly, are somewhat of a surprise – their recorded output sees them as pleasant, melodic rock darlings, but tonight they seem to have much more of a sting in their tail. New single Plans bristles with a kind of muscular verve that would be well worth trying out more often, while the likes of Courage and Sick boast the kind of choruses and melodies that could see this band comfortably making arenas their home before long, aided by Jon Gaskin’s incredible vocal range. A strong start from a band with an exciting future.

Compared for Fort Hope’s much more polished fare, Moose Blood [6] offer a much more scrappier proposition. Dishevelled, pessimistic emo jams are the order of the day for the Kent quartet, with the likes of Swim Down and Bukowski featuring the kind of personal, introspective lyrics that the eponymous poet would be proud to call his own. Eddy Brewerton’s thick, Americanised accent begins to grate after a while, and the whole thing begins to get a bit samey after a while (though the grungey I Hope You’re Miserable offers a welcome change of pace) but overall, it’s a confident set that can see Moose Blood leave with their heads held high.

He may not be used to bearing the title of ‘support act’ anymore, but in Frnkiero Andthe Cellebration [8], the titlular, ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist seems to be entirely comfortable with his demotion of sorts. The groove-laden hard rock of opener This Song Is A Curse is in no way indicative of what is to come – forty minutes of scuzzy, punky power-pop, far less grandiose than the far of his old band but just as thrilling, more so at points. The likes of Blood Infections and the snappily titled She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party And She Can Prove It With A Solid Right Hook are as infectious as they come, while throughout Frank proves himself as a rather adept vocalist, his punky sneer adding to the lo-fi feel of the music produced. From start to finish every move he makes receives a deafening collective scream from the crowd – perhaps a tad superficial at first, given that his old band was the biggest band at the world at one point with one of the most unwavering, borderline obsessive fan bases in all of music – but by the end, it seems as though Frnkiero Andthe Cellebration could garner the same level of adoration as My Chemical Romance.

There are some who are here just for Frank, evidenced by the slight thinning of the crowd when he departs from the stage. Those who do leave though may find themselves disappointed, given that from start to finish, Mallory Knox [9] fire on all cylinders and then some. The opening pair of the driving, riff-led QOD II and the arena-ready monster that is Shout At The Moon hint that this will be the case, and for the duration of the band’s hour-and-a-bit set, you’d be hard pushed to find any sort of disappointment. New songs may not have infested listeners ears that long ago but they’re already treated like favourites, with the bass-led grooves of Dying To Survive being as drivingly anthemic as anything, and When Are We Waking Up? sounding absolutely flawless. There’s an impressive level of cohesion throughout as well; there’s never any points where the songs sound disjointed, with both old and new songs flowing as one hugely enjoyable unit, and even the more raw duo of Resuscitate and Oceans from the Pilot EP carving their own particular chunk into the running order where they sit comfortably. It’s the most confident, most potentially world-beating they’ve ever sounded – Mikey Chapman and Sam Douglas’ dual-vocals compliment each other better than ever on the likes of Beggars and Getaway, and the set finally culminates in an encore of She Took Him To The Lake and Lighthouse, both tracks seeing the band visibly elevated from ‘great’ to ‘could be the biggest band in the world’ status. They’ve always shown potential, but now every iota of that potential has been fulfilled, and Mallory Knox have now taken their rightful place on British rock’s throne.

Words by Luke Nuttall

Leave a Reply