MITCH MALLOY – Making Noise

Mitch Malloy - Making NoiseBack in 1992, Mitch Malloy released one hell of a brilliant AOR album. This self titled record is today seen as an AOR classic and I think I wasn’t the only one who thought that Malloy would be the next superstar in the genre. However, the timing was terrible because in 1992 bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana were taking over the rock scene completely and it wouldn’t take long before the music Malloy played was passé and he and his likes couldn’t even be arrested. Malloy kept on releasing albums but he took a turn that didn’t sat well with the AOR / melodic crowd, his albums were all a big step away from the groovy AOR of his debut and he concentrated more on playing soft pop music for the mainstream American house wife crowd – kind of the garbage Bon Jovi has been doing for the last 15 years or so. None of the five albums  – six if you count the “band” album 88 he recorded in 2003 under his surname only –  he released between 1994 – 2008 were even close to match the quality of his debut. He also made two albums with the bands Fluid Sol and South Of Eden, but I won’t comment on those because I haven’t heard a note from either of them. Malloy was also very close to get the part as the new singer / frontman in Van Halen after Sammy Hagar quit. That position went to Gary Cherone of Extreme, a wrong choice if you ask me. But back in 2011, Malloy announced that he was going back to his AOR roots with his next album – something that can be seen as a sign of the times as AOR and melodic rock had been getting a revival in the last five or six years or so, so this time the timing was perfect. The album, called II, was really back to the roots and the album got some great reviews around the world. I gave it 8/10 but to be honest, if I had reviewed it today, a seven would have been more appropriate – there a few songs that goes into the filler box. The year after Malloy released a re-recording of his album Shine (2000), called Shine On, an album I haven’t heard either as I thought the original was underwhelming. Now, Malloy is back on the juice again with a new album, an album that will also go in the same musical vein as his last one albeit slightly rockier and heavier.

The album starts with “Rock-n-Roll”, a fun lovin’ rocker with an uptempo beat that swings like crazy. That tune really shows that Malloy is here to rock and have a good time. First single “My Therapy” is a kick-ass melodic rocker with a riff that smells like the mid 70’s and it actually makes me think of “16th Century Greensleeves” by Rainbow. A steady beat, a kicking groove and a chorus that sticks like glue makes the song hit a home run – awesome! “One Way” is a bit slow-paced but also comes with a big groove. While it is still melodic rock it’s also bluesier and kind of raunchy and the melody is brilliant – another killer track. “Speak Of The Devil” is also a bit slower but has a killer rock riff and it lies on the heavier side of melodic rock / AOR – a powerful yet catchy rocker – great. With its big guitars and big groove, this intense, in-your-face catchy melodic rocker called “Shook” has all the potential of being a future live killer for Mitch – I really dig it when melodic rock comes with a bit of raunchiness. The only song on this album that I have a hard time getting into is the ballad “It’s Just A Word”. It is ok, but a bit lame and middle of the road and it feels like every melodic rock / AOR album has to have a cheesy ballad like this. This one goes in one ear and out the other. But Malloy makes up for that with “Alone”, a pretty rocked up power pop song with clear AOR vibes and a memorable melody – very good. “I Was Wrong” is a really great pearl of a power ballad. The chorus is very sticky – in a positive way – and in 1988, this would have been a huge hit. It should be one in 2016 as well. The power balladry continues with “Life Has Just Begun” that sounds like a more AOR-ish Gotthard. Sound wise, this could have been a left-over from his debut – awesome! Malloy finishes the album with the title track, an AOR rocker that comes with a slower kind of groove and I hear a bit of FM in this. The chorus is really contagious and the tune is nothing but brilliant.

On this album, Malloy plays all instruments himself but still manages to make it feel like it’s a real band playing. The album is more dynamic than most albums in this genre so I guess the guy has managed to make a budget recording sound like an album that isn’t a budget album – something to take after Yngwie Malmsteen. Musically, the quality here is very high and this album is without a doubt Malloy’s best since his debut. He showed us that he was on his way with MM II, but with Making Noise he has reached his goal. Also, I really love the fact that he just doesn’t stick with one style – AOR – but also goes for some melodic rock and here and there we can find both classic rock and straight ahead hard rock – there are lots of guitars on this album. As a singer, Malloy is great – he has a wide range, attitude and strength. If you liked his debut then this one’s a no-brainer. Thumbs up!

8/10

Tracklist:

1. Rock-n-Roll
2. My Therapy
3. One Way
4. Speak Of The Devil
5. Shook
6. It’s Just A Word
7. Alone
8. I Was Wrong
9. Life Has Just Begun
10. Making Noise

 

 

Advertisements