Album Reviews : Malcura – Malcura II
Wow, talk about coining a sub-genre. Or at least getting as close to doing that as you can these days. This Aussie band features members of Annihilist, Orsome Welles and Kettlespider, and have created a sound that can only really be described, or categorised, as ‘instrumental flamenco prog rock’. As left of centre as that sounds.
To further define it, since it may be a little hard to envision for the uninitiated, these guys create lengthy compositions with sprawling arrangements and high-level musicianship almost exclusively with flamenco guitars, bass and drums. And they do it without the aid of formal vocals and lyrics (there are occasional ambient vocals, horns and keys). Commercially, they are treading a very hard path, mining musical terrain like this, but man, do they sound like they having and absolute ball while doing so, and one gets the very strong feeling they don’t give a toss about commercial concerns.
They just want to rock TF out with their Spanish guitars.
And rock TF out they most certainly do. Malcura II is 12 tracks and almost an hour’s worth of ridiculously authentic flamenco interplay, set against a kick-arse rhythm section, that is just so much fun to listen to it’s not funny.
At the same time, while the overriding vibe of the album is that of up-tempo exuberance, it also takes the listener through a bunch of different moods, colours and dynamics across the course of its length. Check out The Little Ox, for proof. Keynote track, the seven minute-plus The Ballad of the Humble Space Jockey, also has somewhat of a restrained, melancholy tone to it as it builds nicely to its climax.
One can only imagine that this stuff would be an absolute hoot in a live setting too.
This band has truly created something unique and inspiring here. If you love flamenco and/or classical guitar, prog rock and just about anything in between, you will find much to enjoy here. Malcura II is different, but this is a good thing. Give it a try, but do so with mind open.
Album: Malcura II
Genre: Instrumental flamenco prog