Album Review: Jesse Malin – New York Before The War

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5

 

Jesse Malin is a native New Yorker and releases a very vibey new album on One Little Indian on 30th March. He’s over in the UK in May for various dates and promises to Turn Up The Mains (one of thirteen tracks on the album). REM’s Peter Buck contributes a guitar part to I Would Do It For You.

This collection of thirteen songs comes after a gap of five years. Malin made this record twice after reviewing the first takes, then got sidetracked with touring, including gigging with a band named after the famous Hawkwind song, Silver Machine. He regrets letting so much time slip away, but thanks to his prolific song writing on the road he already has enough material to release another album on the back of this one.

As for the album title, when Malin was living in a tiny New York apartment on Avenue C, a base to rest and write between shows, he picked up on some graffiti spray-painted on the side of his apartment block. Written big, the statement “ THE WAR ” – notebook ever ready , he jotted it down and later decided it would make a great album title, “The War” being a (Jessie’s) metaphor for survival.

Malin’s a firm believer in hanging on to heritage, such as records and books, stores (like a lot of things) disappearing in the consumer rush for change. Addicted (current single); She Don’t Love Me Now, obviously, it’s all about a girl, Oh Sheena and The Year That I Was Born are my fantastic four to marvel at.

He’s a heart and soul man, a romantic, he believes in love, and I truly believe in this spirited album.

Mark Watkins