We Need to Have a Little Talk about Malcolm Mask McLaren

Ed. note: This post has dispensed with the familiar convention of only using M-alliteration in the title of a Malcolm Mask McLaren post; Homicidols Dot Com regrets this immediately.

I listen to a lot of music, as should be obvious. One of my favorite things about Fiancee is that we both consider “good chill time” to include alcoholic spirits and putting a record on the turntable. We sing karaoke, just the two of us, or on those rare occasions when we allow somebody to come over, we invite them to join us. We have a small pile of musical instruments that we’re not any good at but still like to pretend with. We argue about the satellite radio station on car rides of longer than a few miles. We listen to music while we create and often as a wind-down before bed. It’s really nice. Fiancee’s time to break from that is during work hours because she’s the kind of person who needs quiet to concentrate; I, on the other hand, need some kind of background noise to concentrate, as otherwise my brain’s trying to drive in several directions at once, I get antsy in my pantsy, sometimes even aggressive, etc. So what’s pretty much the first thing I do when I sit down at the desk in the morning? Pop open Spotify and/or one of my YouTube home pages (yes, I have several), and find something — preferably new — to listen to while I settle in.

Yesterday, that something new was from Malcolm Mask McLaren. The thing said it was called “ORANGE EP” which I got extraordinarily excited about, only to find that it is in fact only two songs, which is not really an EP unless it’s by like Bell Witch or something, but did I bite the bullet and take one for the team anyway? Yes. Which was easy — Malcolm Mask McLaren owns — and, I will spoil it for you, completely and totally rewarding:

What a perfect little shorty. “ORANGE” is a fine song; “Grow” is the other favorite new song from this year that I alluded to in the Idol in Focus. I kept playing it, and I’ll be damned if I can put my finger on why, but suffice it to say that I did not get very much work done yesterday morning because I was all-Malcolm-Mask-McLaren-all-the-time for a good 90 minutes or so. Yes, after a few plays of this record I decided to dip back through more of the discovery, and I submit to you this thesis: There are very, very few idol projects currently active that deliver as high of quality with as much consistency as Malcolm Mask McLaren, and even fewer to have been doing it for so long, and I don’t know of any through two extremely distinct eras.

Take the UNFINISHED EP that D and I both had right at the top of our 2020 year’s best, or “Darlin'” that I’m not convinced wasn’t actually the best song of 2019 — modern Malcolm Mask McLaren found the perfect marriage between easycore, pop punk and idol, and even though two of those things are things that I don’t normally care for, it’s the addition of the third that takes it all into wonder territory. But it goes a lot deeper, of course, all the way back into OG MMM (when they still wore masks!) and their introduction of Melodic Harcore as both a concept and an album. Even at times when I felt like maybe I wasn’t as smitten with them — like with “Bordeaux” single — I was actually really into it and just couldn’t quite reconcile the accomplishment.

So that’s the post. If you haven’t really done the Malcolm Mask McLaren thing, you really should, especially if 2000s-era punk rock is your thing (as well as idol, as is to be expected if you’re here). And if I haven’t already sufficiently sold you on the idea that this might be the best group in idol right now I submit this live clip:

Be a fan of Malcolm Mask McLaren.

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