Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster


Written by: PP on 31/03/2007 14:00:59

The date is January 16, 1935. After a twenty-year spree of organized crime, mayhem, and murder, Ma Barker lie slain from a shootout with authorities in a backwoods cabin just outside of Ocala, Florida. In her bloody hand she clenched her Tommy-gun as she exhaled her last breath, a picture of perfect justice as one of the last organized crime bosses of the 20th century.

Sounds like a weird opening for a review, eh? To tell you the truth, that's directly lifted from the promo-CD's back cover, which outlines the setting and concept Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster's sophomore album "II" revolves around. It's a story about organized crime - mafia and that sorts - in the US, a glorified one if I may add, and is explored with such detail and complexity your average Joe has a hard time keeping up with the story, because the instrumentals aren't any less complicated than the story itself.

After the explosive "AAAAND I WAS A DRIFTER!!!" screamed out loud opening of "Memories Of The Grove", the band tones its aggressiveness slightly down and replaces it with dirtily tuned rowdy guitars in the vein of Norma Jean, half-screamed half-clean vocals and impressive instrumentation to tell Barker's story. While not as fried/grilled as He Is Legend's sound, Maylene are able to capture the whole southern influence in a convincing manner. The true rock 'n roll rowdy spirit is present everywhere, from the 80s style guitar-driven songs to the whiskey-drenched vocalist (Dallas Taylor, ex-UnderOATH) to the overall feeling that TV's are being thrown out of hotel rooms as we speak. Imagine if Every Time I Die hooked up with Motörhead to produce a metalcore/rock n roll record - "II" would probably be the outcome.

Most of the material on "II" is quite an acquired taste, however. The songs aren't melodic to the point where you'd instantly be humming along, but a few like "Raised By The Tide" and "Dry The River" have huge singalongable choruses. Dallas really sounds like an arrogant swagger on the album, adding to the whole organized crime-boss image the band is trying to depict here.

The triple guitars are complex and fiery, producing intricate hooks and groovy melodies which catch onto you like hot sauce onto a white shirt. There's a hook after every power chord, and mini solos are scattered across the whole album, differentiating the tracks from one another. You've got the aggressive "Memories Of The Grove", the ultra-catchy "Dry The River", and even a beautiful southern ballad instantly making you think of one of the organized crime movies set in Chicago in 1920s/30s.

The only setback for me is that it all sounds slightly outdated, however purposeful that might be with regard to the story of the album. Granted, the themeing has been done well here, because it truly sounds like the soundtrack to an old school crime movie, but the whole 80s sound never really caught onto me to be frank. The songs on "II" would definitely be awesome to play on Guitar Hero because of their technicalities, but not something I would necessarily put on at leisure time. This however does not reduce the overall quality-feel of the album, as it is easy to recognize that these guys are great at what they do, and have a unique sound I haven't heard anywhere else yet. It's raucous, sleazy, dirty and heavy. It's a perfect heavy rock record with metalcore and rock n roll influences, and if you're into that sort of thing, then get "II".


Download: Dry The River, Raised By The Tide
For the fans of: Every Time I Die, The Chariot, He Is Legend, Norma Jean, Motörhead
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.03.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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