Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - "II"

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Band: Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
Title: II
Label: Ferret Records
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Review By: Levi (a.k.a Matrixkitty)
Track listing:

  1. “Memories of the Grove”
  2. “Dry the River”
  3. “Plenty Strong and Plenty Wrong”
  4. “Darkest of Kin”
  5. “Raised by the Tide”
  6. “Wylie”
  7. “Death is an Alcoholic”
  8. “Everyone Needs a Hasting”
  9. “Don’t Ever Cross a Trowel”
  10. “Tale of the Runaways”
  11. “The Day Hell Broke Loose at Sicard Hollow”

I’ve never been a really into the whole Underoath phenomenon, so when I heard that Dallas Taylor left the band and formed Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, I was less than excited. I missed out on the first album, but I decided to pick up a copy of “II” (Not to be confused with the Led Zeppelin or Boyz II Men albums).

The album opens up with the song “Memories of the Grove“. It starts off with a catchy drum beat and some southern-styled guitar strumming. Then comes the vocals. I wouldn’t call the vocals screaming or shouting, rather they seem gritty, but they fit in with the overall southern “roughness” of the entire album. Throughout the rest of the album, the guitars, drums, vocals form into one cohesive blend of “good ol’ boy” southern rock. Towards the end of the album, the songs significantly slow down. “Tale of the Runaways” is one of the slowest songs on the album, but it is also one of the best. The gritty vocals are replaced by Dallas’ singing (including his Southern accent) and the entire song has a feeling of remembrance and regret to it. The album closes with an instrumental song titled “The Day Hell Broke Loose at Sicard Hollow“.

Lyrically, the band has based all the songs on the infamous Ma Barker and her four sons and their crime sprees. The family had trouble surviving, so they turned to crimes to help themselves survive. I think that the lyrics from the song “Darkest of Kin” sum up the album pretty well:

“You oughta been warned / Not to cross the tracks to my side of town / Dark clouds will follow / GOD MAKE ME PAY LIKE THE DEVIL I AM!”

Overall Rating: “II” is an amazing album. The southern rock sound feels entirely new and fits in well with the vocals. My only complaint is that some of the songs end up sounding like each other. But by the end of the album, I guarantee that you will be yelling “Free Bird!”

(8.8/10)
Standout Tracks: “Memories of the Grove”, “Wylie”, “Tale of the Runaways”

Sounds Like: a gritty modernized version of Lynyrd Skynyrd

Links:

Official Site

Myspace