November 01, 2004

Malachai "These Sounds of the Spirit World"

Lexington, Kentucky native Malachai (pronounced ‘mala-cha’) a.k.a. Mike Fossum brings you 14 tracks of snarky, lo-fi indie pop reminiscent of Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, and early Beck. To put it simply: the man’s short on songs and even shorter on humor, the latter of which he uses amply to make up for the lack of memorable songs. “O’Amy” is a great Sebadoh-inspired tune, while the Gary Wilson-ish “Draw These Legz” is a fantastic little synth-driven number that brings the personality and hooks in spades. But it seems that it’s all downhill from there for Malachai as each successive track descends into irritating frat boy humor (“I just got to get in your business/Like Harrison Ford did to Kelly McGillis” goes “Who-Shot”) and bland, hookless mid-90’s indie rock. Even worse is the group’s embarrassing Har Mar Superstar-like attempts to incorporate hip-hop (“Love A Man”) into the fray. My suggestion for Malachai would be to leave the 3rd bass and Superchunk records in the garage and focus on writing some decent songs instead.

--Jonathan Pfeffer

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