Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster - IV

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RIYL

The Damned Things
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Black Stone Cherry
The Showdown

Release Date

09/27/2011

Label

Ferret Music

Tracklist

01. In Dead We Dream
02. Save Me
03. Faith Healer (Bring Me Down)
04. Open Your Eyes
05. Killing Me Slow
06. Taking on Water
07. Fate Games
08. Come for You
09. Never Enough
10. Cat's Walk
11. Drought of '85
12. Off to the Laughing Place

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Progressing as a band is risky. You have to make sure you are appealing to a new audience while still maintaining the fan base you’ve worked hard to gather over the years. Most bands fail… but some succeed. There will always be a critic ready to pick apart a band trying out a new sound. There will also always be loyal devotees to the band. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster have built one of the strongest fan bases in the time since their first full length was released in 2005, and they are a perfect example of a band that has been slowly progressing from a southern metalcore band to a southern hard rock band. The proof in that lies within the core of their third release appropriately titled III. You saw an evolution slowly taking place. They were losing members and you could see that the band was slowly dipping their toes in the water of hard rock. Well, my friends and foes, like it or not, Maylene are no longer dipping their toes--they’re bathing in the water, doing cannonballs into it, having belly-flop competitions… I think you get the point. Maylene are about to unleash the darkest, most mature and unadulterated album they have yet to release, suitably christened IV.

Picking up right where III left off, “In Dead We Dream” throws the pedal to the floor, punches the clutch, and whips the album into gear ever so properly. It sounds like it could be a B-side to III, partially from Dallas’ semi-scream and parially from the heavy orientation of the song. Yet the track has tons of melody to it and is well constructed, unlike most of the fan-loved tracks from their first and second releases. The following track, “Save Me,” starts to give you a taste of what’s in store for you within the next thirty-even minutes or so. It’s a darker, less heavy and more melodic side of Maylene. This particular track doesn’t offer much other than a setup for the sounds to come. It’s the third song, however, that’s really going to get the longtime Maylene fan tilting their head in confusion. It’s a modern day Lynyrd Skynyrd song full of harmony and feel-good vibes. Basic and structured chord progression is a vital key in its composition, and it is definitely one of Maylene’s most mature tracks to date, making it one of the strongest songs on this album. “Open Your Eyes” was the first single released off of this album, getting the internet buzzing with a strong distaste for the new Maylene sound. Nevertheless, it is still a solid track with a heavy groove embedded in yet another dark shadow of III. It’s got riffs, it’s got shredding and most importantly it’s got that head-nodding to make ya break ya neck…WOOHAH!

“Killing Me Slow” towers over its track-listed siblings. The opening guitar is gritty and nasty leading into Dallas’ innate ability to transcend over any instrumental backing. “Killing Me Slow” is the definition of the sound that Maylene has been striving for since their release of III. Skipping ahead two tracks to “Fate Games” the music pretty much follows in the footsteps of “Killing Me Slow.” It’s fast paced yet holds a level of melody that really helps you find the perfect notch to groove in. The same goes for “Never Enough” and “Cat’s Walk.” They’re both full of finger-pickin’ good guitar work that showcases some rifftastic growth in Maylene’s ability to appeal to old and new audiences alike. They have a healthy helping of the hard rock sound the band has been feeding to us with a dash of the classic meal we had been used to. “Come For You” and “Drought of ‘85” are two of the slower tracks on the album. They don’t possess much drive, but they definitely hold their own weight on the album, especially “Drought of ‘85.” The song doesn’t offer much musically but lyrically it’s the quintessential meaning behind who Maylene was and who Maylene has become.

To say that this is Maylene’s best effort is unquestionably a difficult thing to swallow for any long-time fan of the band. However, when we stop judging what a band does based off of what we want them to do, it will become an easier task to accept the music for what it is. Let’s face it, every band matures, every band evolves, and if they last long enough, every band eventually ends up having some sort of controversy surrounding their later material. As listeners and as fans, we need to learn to understand the growth the artists are displaying for us. With that being said, have Maylene released their best effort to date? It’s very possible. Sure, it’s not their heaviest material, but it’s without a doubt the most well-written twelve tracks these boys from Alabama have released to date. It’s not perfect but it’s damn close to it. It’s as if IV is the most comfortable they have felt as a band. So let the talk about how MATSOD sold out start. Let’s hear how they’re not as heavy as they used to be so metalcore nerds can't get down in the pit to them anymore. Get a grip people… this album is Rock ‘n’ Roll and I don’t think Maylene are going to apologize for creating it.

--Bill Lohr

Author

Bill Lohr
Last updated: 09/20/2011 08:15AM

Comments

Bill Lohr
09/20/2011
08:25AM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA

The only thing I ask of people when listening to this is to give it a chance. Listen to it all before you dismiss. Go back and listen again. It's a grower. 

Rick Gebhardt
09/20/2011
08:29AM
Age: 33
Location
Minnesota

You had to know this was coming.....

Find me EVERYWHERE:




Nicholas
09/20/2011
08:34AM
Age: 32
Location
Baton Rouge

This sounds like exactly what I was hoping they would do. From the tracks I've heard, I think I am gonna agree with you. Really pumped to hear the whole thing.

MustangMan311
09/20/2011
09:25AM
Age: 21
Location
Raleigh, NC

So is this a whole CD of Listen Close? Because I've heard worse things.

Bill Lohr
09/20/2011
09:28AM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA

Well first off, "Listen Close" is an amazing song, in my opinion. With that being said... yes and no. It's more upbeat than that particular track but there are some reminiscent of it. 

chrispandolfo
09/20/2011
11:49AM

danielwasilewski
09/20/2011
12:47PM

I'm interested, as always, to see what these guys do.

buck09
09/20/2011
09:19PM
Age: 33
Location
Reno, NV
Bill Lohr

Well first off, "Listen Close" is an amazing song, in my opinion. With that being said... yes and no. It's more upbeat than that particular track but there are some reminiscent of it. 

Solid review Bill. Listen Close really jumped out at me when I first heard III, and at first impulse was my favorite Maylene song on III. I am eager to get this next week. I hope its more on The Damned Things side and not on the new Blackstone Cherry side of the RIYL.

JFrogo
09/20/2011
11:50PM
Location
Seattle, WA

Switchfoot/Nickelback anyone?  I'm all for bands progressing, but honestly, at some point just create a new band.  Like it or not, Maylene gained notoriety for their microscopic niche within southern-heavy-rock-breakdown-whatehaveyou: crusty dudes making crusty music.  I feel like the crust is gone, replaced by slick, unimaginative melodies and choruses.  "Open Your Eyes" is the prime example: so absolutely bland and uninspiring in my opinion.  But I guess that's what we're all entitled to - our own opinions.  End-of-rant.

Mike Duchnowsky
09/21/2011
12:09AM
Age: 30
Location
West Haven, CT
JFrogo

Switchfoot/Nickelback anyone?  I'm all for bands progressing, but honestly, at some point just create a new band.  Like it or not, Maylene gained notoriety for their microscopic niche within southern-heavy-rock-breakdown-whatehaveyou: crusty dudes making crusty music.  I feel like the crust is gone, replaced by slick, unimaginative melodies and choruses.  "Open Your Eyes" is the prime example: so absolutely bland and uninspiring in my opinion.  But I guess that's what we're all entitled to - our own opinions.  End-of-rant.

Very well put. This music is pretty trashy.

Fuckings Greatest Hits: 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

I'll take no gold miss,
I'll take no silver
I'll take those sweet lips,
And I'll deliver.

Jake Oliver
09/21/2011
12:17AM
Age: 26
Location
Wales

I don't know, Bill...I'm not sure basic and structured chord progression equals maturity, and if this is just one everything-but-Listen-Close-III-song and eleven Listen Closes (the only song that I skip on III), then I can't see myself liking this. Sorry dude (now I'll wait for you to trash my TUI review tomorrow haha).

Bill Lohr
09/21/2011
05:02AM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA

Guess no one can really make a fair assessment until you actually LISTEN to the album, huh? Like Mr. Douchenowsky... have you even heard the whole thing? I mean, at least talk shit after you heard the whole thing.

Rick Gebhardt
09/21/2011
05:05AM
Age: 33
Location
Minnesota

I've listened to the whole thing a couple times... and to my ears they now sound like a southern rock cover band that you'd hear at your local dive bar. 

Find me EVERYWHERE:




Mike Duchnowsky
09/21/2011
09:02AM
Age: 30
Location
West Haven, CT
Bill Lohr
Guess no one can really make a fair assessment until you actually LISTEN to the album, huh? Like Mr. Douchenowsky... have you even heard the whole thing? I mean, at least talk shit after you heard the whole thing.

I listened to the first four songs and I gave it 1 and a half stars. I listened to the rest of the CD and realized I liked it a lot less than I originally did and I gave it its proper rating. This shit is just boring. I feel like I've wasted my time listening to this crap.
Edit: I'm mostly into that whole, "Southern/twangy guitar driven rock and roll". I really liked it when He Is Legend transformed into a Southern Rockesque band.I never really liked MATSOD to begin with. Some of  their work was a little enjoyable when I found the time for them. My biggest complaint here is his voice on this record. It makes me ill and I'm bored after two minutes of his ramblings.

Fuckings Greatest Hits: 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

I'll take no gold miss,
I'll take no silver
I'll take those sweet lips,
And I'll deliver.

Bill Lohr
09/21/2011
09:20AM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA

fair enough. i obviously knew not everyone was goin to dig the album. 

Mike Duchnowsky
09/21/2011
10:41AM
Age: 30
Location
West Haven, CT

Sound it out Duke Know Ski = Duchnowsky.

Fuckings Greatest Hits: 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

I'll take no gold miss,
I'll take no silver
I'll take those sweet lips,
And I'll deliver.

chrispandolfo
09/21/2011
01:01PM
Bill Lohr

Guess no one can really make a fair assessment until you actually LISTEN to the album, huh? Like Mr. Douchenowsky... have you even heard the whole thing? I mean, at least talk shit after you heard the whole thing.

Cause I'm sure you listened to the entire Wolves in the Throne Room cd...

Bill Lohr
09/21/2011
01:22PM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
chrispandolfo
Bill Lohr

Guess no one can really make a fair assessment until you actually LISTEN to the album, huh? Like Mr. Douchenowsky... have you even heard the whole thing? I mean, at least talk shit after you heard the whole thing.

Cause I'm sure you listened to the entire Wolves in the Throne Room cd...

I did, smart ass. It's a very rare thing that I don't listen to an album before I shit on it. S

chinawhite
09/27/2011
02:28PM

Three songs in and I'm very sad. And very bored. We'll always have I throught III.

Bill Lohr
09/28/2011
08:41AM
Age: 30
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA

Well I WILL always have I through IV... 

Nicholas
09/28/2011
09:04AM
Age: 32
Location
Baton Rouge

Dude, this album's got some pretty great tracks on it. Surprisingly, the MORE radio-ready songs (Faith Healer, Open Your Eyes, Taking On Water, Come For You) actually sound the best. I don't mind the genre change at all. I don't think they've quite mastered this sound yet, but if they keep working on it, I think they will. Maybe it's the hick in me, but I really do like it. Already ready for more. I'm hoping this band has a "Freebird" in them.

danielwasilewski
09/28/2011
10:45AM

After a listen at the gym, I'm getting a No More Tears-era Ozzy vibe. Especially with some of the vocals. Its not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm not sure if I'm in on this one. I'll give it a few more listens before I decide.

MustangMan311
09/28/2011
11:15AM
Age: 21
Location
Raleigh, NC

Gotta download this when I get home, I have a feeling I'm going to be into it.

ken_elwood
09/28/2011
08:11PM
Age: 27
Location
michigan

My friends and I were just Talking about how these guys were the lynyrd of our time! Lo and behold this album mozies on over like meeting an old friend who became the kind of guy "You always knew" he would become, and "I always knew" this album was going to happen. Yes this album is a tough pill to swallow, but they are still doing what a lot of bands are still afraid of. Great Review Bill and Rock on!

b_myers
09/29/2011
09:10AM
Age: 32
Location
Olympia, Washington

i'm diggin' this album.  it's just a solid rock record.