II| Posted August 19, 2008
Ladies and gentleman, my face has successfully been melted off again and this time it's by the hands of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. It all started by me going to Best Buy on lunch break and just being unable to leave that store without something in my hands (bought of course). I'm weak, I know. Anyhow, upon remembering Best Buy sometimes has a horrible selection of music and finding absolutely none of my first ten preferred purchases I remembered this band. I remembered not really caring much for the tracks I'd heard off that CD but I decided to go on a mission to expand my musical horizon... or something like that. I took the plunge and bought II without looking back and I don't regret it in the least.
It's hard to compare their sound to anyone else since I've never heard Southern Rock done this brutal. The singer of ex-Underoath fame, Dallas Taylor, brings his harsh vocals to the table to be combined with some of the catchiest, face-melting guitar riffs I've ever heard and insane drumming for a unique brand of, uh, metalcore southern rock? Or at least that's one way of putting it. Either way, the vocals were the hardest thing for me to get used to and they turned me off of the band a couple times prior to my giving in and buying it. Dallas doesn't really scream so much as 'yell' the lyrics. Even though I've grown used to it over time it's still the only drawback of the album and this band. His yelling is all at the same tone for the most part and can get old quickly. One bright side was the second to last track, 'Tale of the Runaways', which features a very strong singing performance by Dallas. It makes me cry a little on the inside knowing he has that ability but doesn't use it.
Ah well, I digress. There's far more positives than negatives with II that make it one of my favorites. I'd say 90% of this album is all about rocking your face off and the other 10% is the slow ballad at the end followed by the closer, a very atmospheric instrumental. These riffs are going to get your heart pumping and your body grooving before all is said and done. Let's not forget the amazing guitar solos that bring to mind bands like Lynard Skynard as well as Metallica. There's some massive shredding going on and I love every minute of it. These guys are all top notch musicians with a wealth of talent they put to good use.
What you get with Maylene's sophomore album is a fast-paced, aggressive southern rock album that is incredibly consistent. Lyrically it seems to center around the concept of old western themes but if you take the time to dig a bit deeper you'll be surprised at how much thought is put into them. There are some vague references to their faith and God but that doesn't appear to be their focus. I can chalk this up as one of the more original albums I've listened to in recent memory.
Gems of this album are: 'Tale of the Runaways', 'Raised by the Tide', 'Plenty Strong and Plenty Wrong'