Led by Greer McGettrick, the now-defunct Bay Area-based band the Mallard had quickly developed a reputation for defying expectations in their short history together – and in many ways, they did so with a sneering punk-like ethos. As a band they did a covers album around the material of the Velvet Underground and Nico; they did a series of split singles and compilations with numerous bands; and they once did a show as Throbbing Gristle in San Francisco’s oldest and most beloved venues, the Great American Music Hall. bewildering those in attendance.
The band had finished recording a new album and after finishing making appearances at SXSW, and with the album about to be printed and pressed on vinyl, the band abruptly split up. Although it may seem like an unfinished conversation, the band’s swan song, Finding Meaning in Deference will see a July 29th release through Castle Face Records.
“Crystals and Candles” is the first single from the album, and it manages to balance both a lo-fi, drowsy buzz at the beginning before becoming a layered and swirling bit of psychedelic fuzz. While listening to this track, I immediately thought of a fairly obscure Brooklyn band, the Standing Nudes, whose album, Ghost Story i reviewed for the now-defunct publication, Ins&Outs Magazine who had a similar sound, which sometimes played with prog rock and time signatures.