The Malah in Denver 4.14.11
Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
Friday, April 15th, would mark the Malah's first "hometown" show since two-thirds of the band relocated to Denver. It would be a very telling evening for the band. What would be the turnout? What would the Colorado folks think of The Malah? That night at Cervantes, there were four bands on the bill, and although we normally don't turn out until the headliner, we came out early out of a lack of anything else going on. An empty venue, tasteless electronica and amateur hour became themes of the evening until the Malah came in for the save.
The first DJ of the evening played to about ten people and was one of the least talented and least entertaining acts that I have ever seen. His shitty beats, off-color samples and horrible transitions left me scratching my head as to how he could be getting down so hard to his own garbage.
When I thought "It couldn't get any worse...", it didn't, but it was close. Human Agency's beats and grooves were a little bit better, but not much. Their music was sample filled and involved very limited musical "talent". It was a button pressing, Facebook checking and a complete waste of my time. The constant smiles, drinking and getting down to their "own" "music" as apposed to actually creating something unique or interesting made me think the night was going to be a complete bust.
EP3 was the first band of the evening that showed any sort of promise. Their dubstep-esqe start transitioned into some interesting melodies, progressions and jams. The drummer was really solid, as was every member of the band. I danced a little bit, enjoyed the fire-dancers and began to get into the music. Their sound was sort of Disco Biscuits-sounding, down to the production and the crowd seemed responsive for the first time that evening.
The Malah's entrance to the stage was like a breath of fresh air. Immediately, the production, instrumentation and song structure stood out from the other bands on the bill that evening. The lights came to life and Cervantes was in full swing. The Malah put out some really good energy as the venue began to fill in. I was impressed by the turnout. Though Cervantes wasn't packed, it was a weeknight and they were still able to muster up a decent crowd.
Brandon Maynard's guitar/synth & Elliott Vaughn's bass/synth work showed solid talent and musical direction. Their chemistry was smooth. Seth Fankhauser's drumming was really enjoyable and fitting. His time changes, fills and progressions were controlled and consistent. My favorite aspect of The Malah is their tasteful utilization of samples and electronic effects. Their samples are fitting, and they don't overuse glitchy/dubstep sounds.
Together, they make a well-produced band that will fit right in here in Colorado. It may be a good idea for the band to piggyback some locals bands with a following within the same genre to open themselves up to the Colorado market. This spring/summer will be very important and telling for the band with regards to building their fanbase and progressing. With some hard-work, solid booking and aggressive promoting, The Malah could easily become an established band on the scene.