"Breathe Deeply, Horse" (Acerbic Noise Development; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

You know how something can sound good on paper or in theory, but then it just doesn't come through in the end? Malamute from Hattiesburg, Mississippi are on what in my opinion is one the best independent heavy music labels around: Acerbic Noise Development). The actual sound on this album contains punk rock, metal and various other heavy and melodic tones swirled around a rather liquid, non-structured type of format. The vocals are quirky yet coherent and the effort and enthusiasm are just bursting out as this band seems to go for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. 

Now, to me, that sounds like it make a fantastic album. So why am I wrinkling my forehead as I write this review? Well, despite including all of the above I just couldn't get completely into this album. Indeed, Malamute loaded their bags with their wares and then dumped them out on this recording. They are not lacking angles or ideas, but they are lacking an edge or a hook or something that would really make this album engaging. 

I felt that way after just one play and that feeling loomed over me after three more plays of the CD. The wild and sometimes frantic stance Malamute takes had me interested, but they just seem to lack enough depth to really finish the deal. It's like wanting to dive into the water, but you know it's not deep enough to dive into so instead you end up staying on the edge just kind of kicking your feet in the shallow part. 

Perhaps my opinion is influenced by the fact that other artists on this label (The Devil and the Sea, El Chupa Cobras and Ganon) have released outstanding albums this year and maybe I was expecting more. 

Altogether this is a somewhat likeable album, but it's far from a standout and Malamute need some work to really become a memorable band.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.