(Laser Brains) Released almost a year after being recorded, there’s nothing stale about The Final Station, the energized new record from Nicholas Mallis. Running a tight 27 minutes, The Final Station creates an immersive palette that ably explores the tension between the heart, the mind and the body. Mallis spends a good bit of time dealing with the synthetic; there’s lush synthesizer tones, vintage drum machines and plenty of reverb, but he’s always ready and able to drop a killer bassline or a post punk guitar riff before things become too robotic. This tightrope walking is echoed in many of the lyrics as well. Mallis is equally likely to sing about alien mind control conspiracies or the existential trap of consumerism as he is to conjure up deeply human images: playing ding-dong ditch up and down Boulevard, avoiding your friends at the store, finding peace in familiar culture. Mallis seals the deal throughout with his penchant for dynamics, especially on “The Final Station” or “When Karen Comes Home,” when he slows the propulsive songs down to increase the power of their solid hooks. With knowledge of the past and an ear to the ground, Mallis keeps making music that will make you stop to think and start to dance in equal measure.
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