I'd gotten about halfway through this album by the time I bothered to read the press release, looking to find some information and maybe even some live dates in the pipeline. It's safe to say that I was disheartened to read that this is actually an epitaph, the band are no more. The Mallard's front-woman and songwriter Greer McGettrick recently cited standard rock reasons such as "disenchantment" and "overplaying" in an interview with Bowlegs Music. But rather more surprisingly came the revelation that "the songs aren't complete to me; they’re individual tracks that play side by side one another", it's startling because to an outsider the record feels like the finished article. Granted, the tracks are raw, they'd definitely feel at home on a demo tape, but I get the feeling that The Mallard shouldn't really be doing it any other way. Its certainly not the sort of music that should be polished up. This isn't a perfect album by any means, but there are tracks here that really strike a chord. Highlights include the opening salvo of "A Form Of Mercy" and "Crystals & Candles" which brim with an unusual laid back energy. Then there's the magnificent "Just An Ending" which is ultra dark but has moments of defined pop genius which would have stood The Mallard in good stead for the future. And maybe it will in another life-form, who knows what form that will take but I'm excited to hear it.