Oct 2011 12

Malakwa - Street PreacherMalakwa
Category: Electro / Punk
Album: Street Preacher
Stars: 3
Blurb: Hard electro-punk has moments of heavy glory, and moments of plodding noise.


This French group refers to their sound as digital punk, which turns out to be a fitting description. The album’s best tracks could get rivetheads stomping on the dance floor, and punk and metal kids moving in the pit. When in their element, Malakwa offers a perfect blend of hardcore guitar riffs and equally heavy synth rhythms. The album’s opener, “Make Up Your Rules” kicks things off with a rough industrial jolt, leading into a heavy rhythm that starts and stops in the right places with shouted vocals that fit the controlled chaos of dueling sounds.

In some spots, these dueling sounds fight rather than mix, like the almost hip-hop style skipping effect that interrupts the driving beat on “Get Up Now.” On “White Trash Lady,” trudging sound interludes ruin the otherwise heavy yet melodic atmosphere, driven by a synth that sounds like a wailing metal guitar. “Street Blast” offers a perfect blend of fuzzy beats and hard synths, but the rhythm is undercut by out of place whistling sounds and other special effects, and a spoken voice sample that adds nothing. These voice samples are included, and are equally distracting, in other spots like “Ride Fast,” “Mahalaka,” and “Get Up Now.” “In Nothing We Trust,” in addition to the random voices, the main vocal track is half-spoken and the main rhythm is too static and overwhelmed by different sound effects to find its groove.

When the sound effects are reined in, Malakwa are free to do what they do best: pound listeners with heavy electro/rock like “Monster,” which expertly mixes heavy drums and guitars with a softer electronic rhythm and well timed tempo changes. This is the strongest moment on the album and is so good that it survives a pointless remix at the end, which overpowers the melody and raging ambiance with random electronic blips. “Mahalaka” features a strong, almost metal-style vocal that complements the wailing guitars and squealing synth. When the tempo slows on “Break the Silence,” the result still packs a punch with a good electro groove and the melding of fuzzy noise and hard guitars. These bright spots show that Malakwa could be the next big thing in rock/industrial fusion, provided they keep the electronic fiddling to a minimum and keep up with the heavy melodies they cultivate so well.

Track list:

  1. Make Up Your Rules
  2. Monster
  3. Get Up Now
  4. Street Blast
  5. Mahakala
  6. In Nothing We Trust
  7. Break the Silence
  8. Ride Fast
  9. White Trash Lady
  10. Monster (MLK Remix)

Malakwa Website http://malakwa.fr.st
Malakwa MySpace http://www.myspace.com/httpwwwmyspacecommalakwa
Malakwa Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Malakwa-Crew/100001545969063
Malakwa Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/MALAKWA
Malakwa SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/malakwa
Alfa Matrix Website http://alfa-matrix.com
Alfa Matrix MySpace http://www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
Alfa Matrix Twitter http://twitter.com/alfamatrix

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
Amazon MP3


Elizabeth Green (salomedesade)

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