Perhaps you’ve heard of the trajectory our beloved friend Greer McGettrick and her cohorts in The Mallard have traced across the current musical landscape…a promisingly home-baked debut full of twists and turns that nonetheless felt of the time and lived in…tours and tours and tours…songs on splits and compilations, including both Son Of Flex and our covers record of The Velvet Underground and Nico…shifting band members and band members shifting instruments…the now infamous Noise Pop performance where they played as Throbbing Gristle at one of the oldest and most venerated venues in San Francisco, The Great American Music Hall, to a thoroughly bewildered audience…all the while getting faster darker and sharper…and after coming back from SXSW, the sudden dissolution – with an album finished, and already being printed and pressed with us, their now-swan song Finding Meaning In Deference.
It’s a conversation interrupted to be sure, but one that you should be listening in on. There’s an unapologetic maelstrom of dark energy simmering beneath the surface of these tunes, but it never subsumes some of the group’s best songwriting efforts yet. The myriad guitar/vocal interplay is sharp as ever, the pissed-off is turned up to 10, but there’s an ever-present bop and hook to even the most bummed-out tunes here. If you never got to see them, I’m sorry – but this record catches them in excellent form at the zenith of their powers, a guitar somehow hung from the rafters for the rest of eternity – we’re sad to see them go, but thrilled to share this excellent record with the world.