The Malarkies
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The Malarkies

Band Rock Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"10,000 Back Doors"

Matt Sutton and Ruth Keating, who backed K. on her last record, cut loose on their own with this rivetingly intense, home-produced record. Sounding at times like Will Oldham backed by Jonathan Fire*eater percussion, the duo carves out a niche that is direct and soulful and warmly intelligent. They use minimal instrumentation without ever sounding minimalist, wringing more out of guitar, voice, handclaps and drums than many bands get out of a whole stage full of participants.

This is The Malarkies' fourth album, the first without a bass player. Sutton fills the gap with an unusual instrument, a baritone guitar, whose range falls somewhere between traditional guitar and bass. It spits and hisses on rock-oriented songs like "Night Dogs" and "Kids" and lends firelit warmth to thoughtful ones like "Unload". The drumming, courtesy of Keating, makes no concessions to folky reticence. She bangs the hell out of the skins, laying a funereal kick under "Laughter" and "Night Dogs". There is one amazingly dense instrumental, "461", built on the shuffle of sand blocks, the pop of claps and rumbling, crashing guitars.

The best cuts, however, are the barest ones, where Sutton's warm tenor and Keating's tremulous alto twine together against a backdrop of nearly nothing at all. "Rowboating", which borrows a lilt from the child's song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", is simple and stunning. "Upstairs", just guitar, Sutton and light bongos, sketches love and desire with perfect restraint.

10,000 Backdoors is enclosed in block-printed cardboard, its packaging as carefully produced as the tunes inside. It is about as far from slick as you can get -- an amazing record of what two people can do with love and care and a complete disregard for commercialism.

-- Jennifer Kelly - Splendid


Best Map (2004)- 5 song ep
10,000 Back Doors (2003)- full length- receiving college radio airplay
3 Houses (2003)- 4 song split ep with K.- recieving college radio airplay
Andiamo (2000)- full length- received college radio airplay
When Every Metal Shines (1998)- full length- received college radio airplay


Feeling a bit camera shy


We dress in formal wear and tiaras for our performances.

RIYL: Pete Townshend, Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart, the Shins, Beekeeper.

Photos by Megan Holmes,