Malocchio – Living Things

Published on June 22nd, 2011

Living Things recently released seven free downloadable songs from Malocchio, their upcoming triple album due later this year. These seven songs are an eclectic collection of tunes, and in no small way a significant departure from the music Living Things have released up until this point. The fact that these seven songs are a small part of a massive album suggests just how heterogeneous Malocchio will be. The direction Living Things are taking in terms of their sound also demonstrates their growth and maturity as a band.

The fabric binding these seven songs together is sonic variation on a massive scale. Such variation occurs from one song to the next, and even within the same song itself. “Post Mortem Bliss,” for example, has a reggae feel to it in the beginning, evident by the guitar-work and drumming. Halfway through the song, however, there is a switch in terms of the tune’s style and feel. The reggae ends and changes into an instrumental melody that sounds classical, haunting, and utterly beautiful. “Gang Banksters” has a ska vibe, particularly through the horn section early on in the song, and then takes a funky turn. “Terror Visions” sounds heavy and funky, like tribal arena rock. It’s also quite poppy thanks to the vocal harmonies and Bon-Jovi-esque shouting. It calls to mind earlier Living Things tunes, except that “Terror Visions” has a much fuller sound and instrumental accompaniment.

Of the seven songs available, “Pollen Path” already has a music video that Living Things are calling a short film. It was directed by Floria Sigismondi, an artist who has worked with the group on music videos for songs such as “Bom Bom Bom” and “Let It Rain.” Sigismondi is also married to Lillian Berlin, lead singer for Living Things. “Pollen Path” features the couple’s young daughter; an appropriate collaboration considering Living Things is comprised of brothers Lillian, Eve, and Bosh Berlin.

Despite the stylistic eclecticism of this batch of seven songs, and notwithstanding the departure musically from previous efforts of Living Things, the one element that remains the same for this band and their songs is the politically aware nature of their tunes. One song, for example, is named “Unemployment Line.” Judging by the title, i.e. ‘unemployment,’ this track certainly speaks to not just Living Things listeners, but also to plenty of individuals facing this very real problem nowadays. In this sense, Living Things are still grounded in the same belief raising social and political awareness through their music, something they have consistently been doing since their earlier days as a rock n’ roll band. Like all great artists, not just musicians, Living Things give a voice to those faced with challenges, hardships, and everyday conflicts. By empowering individuals whose voices are not heard, giving them strength to face struggles they are presented in life, Living Things offer music that reminds us and celebrates what it means to be human.

Stream and/or download the seven free tracks from Malocchio below, and also check out the video for “Pollen Path.”



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