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Singles Review: Molly and The Zombies – Sketchy and Red Lights

Singles Review: Molly and The Zombies – Sketchy and Red Lights

Artist: Molly and The Zombies

Singles: Sketchy and Red Lights

Release: 13th December 2013

Over this Christmas, I again felt the boyish excitement I have been longing for since I found out Santa wasn’t real. (Sorry for spoiling that one.) This excitement wasn’t over the thought of filled stockings, the pile under the Christmas tree, or even trawling through the Christmas films on the television. Instead, I was all in a flutter over a band that goes by the name of Molly and The Zombies. Who are they you ask? Well, I asked the same question when I first opened my inbox to see the link to their soundcloud profile.

Once I opened the link, all skepticism I had originally felt over the name had flushed out of my face and was replaced with the heart-stopping disbelief when that pretty girl from your class talks to you for the first time. I discovered that Brian Fallon, singer and rhythm guitarist from The Gaslight Anthem had silently unveiled a side-project unto the deepest darkest depths of the internet. Not that he’s anything like a pretty girl. Brian FallonThis isn’t the first time Brian Fallon has released something sans-Gaslight, releasing an album with Ian Perkins, who began as Gaslight’s guitar technician, and now holds the well-earned title of band member. Their first and (probable) only album Elsie was released in 2011 and offered an alternate take on the music scene, Fallon himself describing the record as “…hymns for lonely people.” and claiming he was aiming for a similar effect that is produced by the likes of  Tom Waits or Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs. True enough, the songs were dark and haunting, fusing organ and guitar and slow and deliberate drum beats. But knowing Fallon’s music as I do, I knew it would be unlikely that he would make a similar sounding record more than once. I couldn’t help but think that there would be something special about this project. Naturally, my first choice was to go and see if they had a Facebook profile, I had to know that this was something official before I could allow myself to reach total fan-boy status. Surely enough, I found their profile, though basic and minimalistic with barely over 400 likes and an air about it which dared to be left undiscovered. I turned back to the soundcloud profile to come across two songs. One being a song entitled Red Light and another by the name of Sketchy.

From Molly and The Zombies' Facebook Profile

From Molly and The Zombies’ Facebook Profile

The first song; Red Lights starts off with a slow and steady beat courtesy of Randy Schrager, beautifully tarnished and without the spoiling of over-production. Brian’s voice comes in slow and weary with an echo, the kind of voice where you know a sad tale is about to be sung. In some ways I imagine that it is what The Horrible Crowes would be without the lace-like solos or the harrowing organ accompaniment. The bright addition to this track Catherine Popper from Ryan Adam’s backing band The Cardinals adds harmonies over the chorus, offering a new aspect to Brian’s work, only having released tracks with women a few times in the past. As usual with Fallon’s work, the lyrics are heavy and emotionally based, more similar to The Horrible Crowes as opposed to The Gaslight Anthem. For example: “If I slow it down, I’ll end up on one of my accuser’s knives, so I only stop to tell her that I love her at the red lights. ” can only conjure up images of a man so caught up  in the rat-race or anything else that may ensnare a man, that traffic is the only thing that may slow him. Or this for example: “You might be an angel, or a devil I don’t know, but if in fact you are now, love, well I’ve been there before.” Seeks to exemplify the simple brilliance when it comes to expressing tiredness with women and heartbreak.

The second song; Sketchy is another tale of woe, utilizing the skills of Brian Fallon and Brian McGee to create a simple but effective melody. It’s exactly the kind of song you could hear at a diner in the early hours in the morning where a couple of guys are nursing their drinks after bad break-ups. The line: “I will keep this lonely beat, until you return to me.” Shows no signs of a jolly song in the near future.

As of yet, there is no hint of any sort of release or tours, but keep an ear to the ground and watch this space for more news when it comes. In the meantime, take a look at this footage from The Stone Pony to get an idea of their sound, although it’s worth remembering. There is no official quality release as of yet.

If that has whetted your appetite, ensure that you give Molly and The Zombies a like on Facebook to ensure that you are in the loop with all their latest news, and follow their account on Soundcloud to hear it straight from the source.

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