Vanyaland Premiere: Oh, Malô’s rock puzzle takes shape on the new ‘Red’ EP

We first got hip to Oh, Malô a while back when listening to the Heavy Rotation Records Dorm Sessions Vol. 10 compilation. At first we were surprised to hear the Boston rock band’s sweeping track “Sweet Dreams” buried as the comp’s closing effort, but as we listened to it in the context of an album, and even a compilation, it made sense: the song’s slow build-up and grandiose guitar work made us reminisce to a time when albums had a flow, an arch, and a purpose to its sequence. Oh, Malô is the type of band which doesn’t just create songs and sounds, but curated moments that fit like pieces to a larger puzzle. In the context of the Dorm Sessions comp, “Sweet Dreams” was closer-material, designed to spit in the face of the iTunes generation’s need for tidy singles.

The young band’s next puzzle piece comes as the Red EP, a two-track offering out today that’s a part of a larger body of work. The second of three color-themed releases (the comp pulled from the recent Blue EP), Red is a moody, majestic bit of eight layered rock minutes that appears to have infinite depth and multiple personalities.

“It toys with themes in the realm of anger and aggression,” the band tells Vanyaland. “It is rougher around the edges than Blue and exposes the frustration and impatience that inspired parts of our record.”

We won’t name-drop the artists that come to mind here, because that would take away from Oh, Malô’s own originality. Just pay attention to sharp turns, the hidden gestures, and the parts: beginning, middle, and end. And be sure to catch your breath.

[Oh, Malô performs live at the Dorm Sessions Vol. 10 release party February 18 at the Berklee Performance Center.]