With emo newbies Moose Blood and ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero in tow, Brit rock superstars-on-the-rise Mallory Knox closed their nationwide tour in support of second album Asymmetry at London’s Electric Ballroom. Here’s what we learnt…
Who said nice guys finish last? Nobody told Moose Blood.
Dave Grohl’s Nicest Man In Rock title may be in jeopardy when faced with the lovely young chaps from Moose Blood. It can feel a bit too twee and sickly, such as when guitarist Mark Osbourne takes a moment to tell the crowd that he ‘loves his girlfriend so much’. It would be nice to see one of them smash up the stage in a drug-fuelled frenzy, but until that happens these sweet songs about jumpers and coffee going cold are 100% genuine and delivered with the sort of heart that marks them as one of the emo revival’s brightest hopes.
Frank Iero is a surprising and compelling frontman.
In many ways Frank Iero isn’t an obvious frontman, and it makes sense that he played Robin to Gerard Way’s Batman for so long. This doesn’t mean he’s in any way a bad frontman, however — quite the opposite. His scratchy vocals and hunched stature portray a vulnerable demeanor, yet there’s an unhinged side to him that means you never know when he might cut loose. A truly enigmatic performer who proves he can carry the limelight in his own unique way.
He caries the rough and ready side of MCR into the future.
The various members of the My Chemical Romance solo projects are slowly dissecting the parts that made them such a special band. While Gerard Way has carried on the legacy of fabulously bonkers ideas — the giant pink monkey, the big pop sensibility — Frank has forged a path through the distorted punk roots that gave his previous outfit that grisly edge. He flails around the stage with a ramshackle energy that’s exhilarating to watch. The likes of Blood Infections and Weighted prove there’s some hooks buried within the anguish.
Mallory Knox are going from strength to strength.
As frontman Mikey Chapman points out, Mallory Knox have come a long way in a short amount of time. Despite having only two albums and an EP to their name, they already have an abundance of big, radio-friendly rock hits to pack a set with. Wake Up, Shout At The Moon and Lighthouse are all lapped up by the crowd. Their delivery is damn near flawless, especially Mikey’s performance. His powerful vocals take the big choruses to soaring new heights. The band have already nailed everything that could see them take this show to bigger rooms.
There’s just nothing special enough to get emotionally involved with.
When Mikey dedicates 1949 to those in love, it’s an interesting juxtaposition. Being in love with someone means embracing everything about them, including their flaws, and the lack of flaws here — every single part of the performance is expertly put together — means it’s hard to truly fall in love with Mallory Knox. This is only made more apparent by the preceding performance: it was always going to be a ballsy move to take an ex-member of one of the most loved rock bands in recent memory on tour as a support, and tonight Frank Iero proves to be the real highlight.