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Malachi, Mourning Days: Volume II

Album Review

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Boise band Malachi is tailor-made for a snarky alt-weekly review. The level of non-ironic confidence it pours into a live performance of its epic cheese-rock is endearing in its self-deception. The band, with its Kiss-like stacks of equipment, gets down with its bad self onstage while singer Jeffro Hoskins wails out the sort of lyrics that Jack Black sings satirically in Tenacious D.

"If I was an equestrian / I'd ride on a mighty steed," Hoskins sings on "The Canary and a Coal Mine."

"I'm locked in a cage with creepies and crawlies / and now I feel the pain," he sings on "Summertime."

And those are only two of the 14 tracks on Malachi's recently released second album, Mourning Days: Volume II. The rest of the record is no less comical.

"I can feel my tears 'cause they're wet," he sings on "Trainwreck A Comin'."

These gems of insight are embedded among riffs that fall between fantasy film soundtracks and power ballads. Choir synth pads hum beneath phased guitar solos and Hoskins' appeals to the forces of darkness.

But Malachi is frighteningly sincere. The effort poured into Mourning Days: Volume II shows from the album's first apocalyptic skit to the fading screams of "back on the narwhal I ride," on the track "Narwhale," which closes the record.

Some bands struggle to bring their members' visions to life. Malachi isn't one of those bands. Its vision is fully realized in painfully vivid color. The question is why on Earth it ever set on that course in the first place.

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