Mall Grab solidifies new abrasive era with ‘Growing Pains’ EP
One of my favourite all time comments on a Boiler Room stream is by user jokes 112 where he comments “I really like the idea that he’s growing into a techno demon” on Mall Grab‘s London set. On Mall Grab’s latest Looking For Trouble Records instalment, Growing Pains, the Newcastle native personifies this sentiment perfectly. The EP comes off the back of his collaborative EP Moogie with longtime friend and collaborator, Nite Fleit. Moogie was an exercise in big room techno and an introduction to a new, abrasive era for Mall Grab and his music. Growing Pains solidifies this creative direction, and acts as a lesson in 135 BPM dance floor and festival stage destruction.
‘Sleepless’ eerily welcomes you into the sonic world of Growing Pains. Slow building synths, rattling high hats and a sharp kick build to a seemingly traditional break-beat inspired techno slog. All the elements are there for a corrosive, in-your-face type of energy acting as a perfect vignette for the rest of the project, however it doesn’t halt here. As the track builds into second gear, a four-four kick pattern is introduced with rave synths, creating a fully-fledged electro festival anthem.
‘Eucalyptus’ follows. Previously a staple in all Mall Grab sets, the track is everything we’ve come to love at this stage of his career. A wobbly synth sits on top of a destructive drum machine break-beat pattern. Jittery snares and hi hats drive the track forward. Despite its minimalism and simplicity, it’s an onslaught on the ears in the best way possible.
Title track ‘Growing Pains’ steals the show. The track opens with a drum pattern filled with a heavy kick and wooden percussion. What seemingly is introduced as a softer turn to the opening tracks, turns into a torrential track fuelled with heat. It’s indescribable by genre. It combines a heavy bass line with rapid break, off-kilter drums and it hits like a tsunami. The track defines what Mall Grab‘s music is in 2019. It’s not defined by a genre, BPM or clear sonic direction, but rather they’re tracks that evoke positive energy and vibrance.
Mall Grab describes the EP in this way exactly: “Headbanging club music. Birthed from a number of unfinished projects, somewhere in between grime, broken beat, rave and electro – I wanted to make some shit that bangs in a big or small room. Have fun. Positive energy forever.”
Despite now living on the other side of the world, Mall Grab has re-embraced the industrial tinge of his hometown of Newcastle. Mall Grab utilises the Steel City moniker musically on this EP. The metallic and grinding nature of the city acts as key influences for his rave heavy, up-tempo tracks. Growing Pains is headache music at its absolute best and to define it as anything other than that is to overthink its purpose.
To quote Newcastle legend Mark N, “the sheer fuck-offness of the record appealed to me straight away” and thats exactly my attraction to Growing Pains.
Image via rybskie
Words by PARRY TRITSINIOTIS
THERE’S SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT MALL GRAB’S LATEST VID
FRIENDS, HOUSEMATES & SOUNDS COLLIDE ON MALL GRAB & NITE FLEIT’S ‘MOOGIE’ EP . JORDON ALEXANDER SHEDS HIS MONIKER & CRAFTS CONTEMPLATIVE ELECTRO ON HIS NEW 12″