- Yes on Blood by the Mallard
Pitchfork weekend was a true test of what the human body can endure—high-volume bands, constant exposure to direct sunlight, sweat, dirt, torrential downpours, mud, hordes of zombielike live-music junkies, gallons of Heineken Light—I'm honestly a little surprised I survived. By Sunday afternoon, the power nap I'd joked about in my itinerary
accidentally became a reality. Fortunately I was conscious for Thee Oh Sees' amazing 2:50 PM Blue-stage set—if you followed the Reader
's interactive Pitchfork coverage, you might remember that pretty much everyone lost their shit for that
. I knew that no matter how wiped out I was, it'd be silly of me to miss them playing again that night at the Bottle. By the time I arrived at the club, though, the last thing I wanted to hear was more bands, especially bands I didn't already know—but openers the Mallard blew me away. They turned out to be one of the weekend's surprise highlights.
The Mallard are a new addition to the Castle Face Records family—the label is also home to the damaged San Francisco garage rock of Thee Oh Sees, Blasted Canyons, Ty Segall, and Bare Wires. The Mallard take this sound and kick it around a little bit, leaving it slightly off center. Today's 12 O'Clock Track, "Fog" (from their debut LP, Yes on Blood), is a spooky, off-kilter, jumpy number that blends bubblegum and bizarre. It's hyperactive and a downer at the same time—totally fun but a total bummer. And the whole record, which I grabbed that night, is the same way. It's great.