Domino is proud to present the third album from the Bristol duo of Malachai, entitled Beyond Ugly and to be released on March 31st.
Beyond Ugly is the last panel in the band's Ugly triptych and that it was completed at all came as a shock to all concerned, least of all the group. After the conclusion of the campaign for their sophomore album, Return To The Ugly Side, members Gee Ealey and Scott Hendy drifted apart with no definitive plans to take up arms together. It was a chance meeting in Bristol that drew the two back into one another's orbit and to the realization that there was some unfinished monkey business. The duo re-engaged slowly, simply working up a track at a time, more for the cathartic act of creating good music rather than the artificial construct of "delivering an album." Lo and behold, the creative process built an inertia of its own and Beyond Ugly began to take shape.
And what a fine shape it is... Beyond Ugly recaptures the sonic stew of debut album, The Ugly Side Of Love, a potent of brew of post-summer of love and some good ol' Bristol-fashion psychedelic comedown. However, there's a healthy dose of renewed restlessness and anger emanating from Ealey that permeates the album thanks to some spirited vocal performances, from the anthemic and vengeful soliloquy of "Sweet Flower" to the civilly disobedient "I Deserve To No."
Of course, Malachai isn't a one-man West End show. As Rakim had Eric B... as Jerry Lewis had Dean Martin... Hendy, the duo's musical director, has truly outdone his past efforts and provides a sturdy musical platform from which Rev. Ealey delivers his sermons, whether the occasion calls for an exotic sturm-und-clang ("I Deserve To No") or a genteel soft-shoe waltz ("Here It Comes").
Malachai have always enjoyed // suffered the curse of being a "musician's band." Geoff Barrow of Portishead originally released The Ugly Side Of Love on his Invada imprint before the brigands at Domino swooped in and there was no bigger proselytizer of Malachai's prowess than Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian and both take their support a step further with guest appearances on "Dragons Ball" and "The Love" respectively. Additionally, "Segs" Jennings, bassist from punk legends The Ruts joins the fray on "Sweet Flower."
So do The Stranglers, but that's another matter.
The album concludes with a montage of hallucinations from across the band's discography before what can be best described as the ominous twilight tranquility of "End." Is this really where the Malachai story ends? As shown by the creative triumph of Beyond Ugly, sometimes it's best not to plan at all and just let it happen. We'll do our best to let you know when it does.