"A Brighter Beat" (2007) i "Sleight of Heart" (2008) su bili maestralni albumi kojima je Malcolm pokazao da je plodniji i jači autor od bivšeg mu kolege Aidana. Peti samostalni album bivšeg člana Arab Strap je pomiješana vreća emocija začinjena sa nadolazećom samonametnutom pauzom. Kuda sljedeći projekt vodi, to nitko ne zna, a novi album niti ne pokušava natuknuti.
Being Malcolm Middleton
'Oh, for Chris’s sakes, will it ever stop reinin’ in this ceity? Anothar mornin’ anothar sheeity day. No berds hummin’, eeeh. Bloody Glaschu. Ah want some tea.'
Gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom.
'What do ah have to do this affie? Pickin’ up some food would be good, retern the DVDs, call John ... John. What shall ah tell the auld bastard? "Waxing Gibbous" getting released or what? Nae. Didnee anythin’ in a month on that last song. Postponin’ the record decision for a month made John a wee angry, but eh is a good lad, would not show it even if eh was pissed as hell. I should not act as a cunt, should ah, eh was good to me. Ok, will finish "The Ballad of Fuck All" and that is it, no more records for at least two years. Hey, they are playin’ "Don’t Falter" (Mint Royal) on Radio 1. Lovely tune. Lauren (Laverne) was a good shag. And now she married that cunt.'
Dials the phone. No answer. Drinks tea. Puts a jacket on and goes out.
Few hours later, Malcolm is back in his apartment. Picks up the phone the moment he walks in.
'Hi John, aye, how is everythin’? Listin, ma recerd is comin’ out in June, whaddaya say? Aye, lets grab a peeve tomorrow, eeh? Nae ... no more records for a year after this one. I wanna do somethin’ else. I want to do an instrumental acoustic guitar album, some electronic music, some collaborations, maybe start a new band, produce ... Eeh, I knew you would get it. But ferst, I wanna get pished, okey. Aye, mate, see ya tomorrow at Nice’n’Sleazy? Aye. Well, that is settled. Ah’ll get some more tea.'
June, Malcolms apartment
'Eeh, John sent me a link. This cheap websteid, potlista.com, gotta a review on me record. And it is in english, though everythin’ else is in some weird Czech-like language. Let’s take a look.'
The new Malcolm Middleton record came out pretty quickly after last years wonderful "Sleight of Heart". While both "Sleight of Heart" and the record before, "A Brighter Beat", captured the listener with their energy and beautifully crafted pop songs that surprised everybody knowing that Malcolms origins with Arab Strap where nowhere near upbeat territory, the latest effort seems a bit messed up. The two previous records where great from start to finish, they easily involved the listener and made them crave for more and more of the delicate pop sounds MM offered. "Waxing Gibbous" is a solid record, but nowhere near its sparkling predecessors. Some moments clearly show that MM latest media statements about how he is going to take a break after this record are reflected in his latest work. Of course, there are few great moments like the first two tracks, "Red Travellin’ Socks" and "Kiss At The Station", that rank right up with the best stuff MM ever wrote. Both songs are great travelling tunes and seem perfect company for a great movie opening scene, like friends going to Amsterdam for a wicked weekend or a recently divorced mid-30s girl going to visit her old friend in their hometown. "Zero" and "Don’t Want To Sleep Tonight" are two other standouts tracks, but with a more melancholic feeling. They make you feel the raindrops on the rooftop of Malcolms apartment in Glasgow.
If you are new to the MM catalogue, start with "Sleight of Heart" and "A Brighter Beat". "Waxing Gibbous" is a solid record, but since we already know Malcolms potential, it leaves a bittersweet taste in our ears.