Album Review :
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - III
Artist: Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
Label: Ferret Records
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Review by: Michael Mayer III
- Waiting on My Deathbed
- Settling Scores by Burning Bridges
- Just a Shock
- Last Train Coming
- Step Up (I’m On It)
- Listen Close
- The Old Iron Hills
- No Good Son
- Harvest Moon Hanging
- Oh Lonely Grave
- The End Is Here… The End Is Beautiful
*Puts Maylene’s latest in the CD player in his car on a humid, 90 degree day*
*Music slowly fades in as crickets are chirping and frogs are croaking (wait… it’s the CD) and a sweet guitar line starts coming into focus*
*After a good 20 seconds pass… What’s this? A banjo??! No way! This finger pickin’ has a sweet groove!*
Before long the powerful drums kick in and Dallas is screaming to kick off yet another fantastic album from Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. It’s ‘Southern Metal-rock-core-bluegrass-I don’t even know anymore’ at it’s finest and they give you exactly what you’d expect along with some new twists. Let’s face it, if you are buying a new Maylene album you are expecting to have your face rocked, your fist pumpin’, and your hearing diminished as the guitars get you playing along ‘air-style’ while not caring if you’ve done it before. All you want is new tunes to sing along too that don’t sound exactly like the ones on previous releases.
If that describes how you feel then you are in for another wild ride. The fist pumpin’ is in full force on the album’s most rockin’ track, ‘Step Up (I’m On It)’. The banjo returns to serve as the backbone for the main riff alongside the guitars and the chorus will quickly get you singing along to the best of your ability. When this song came on I couldn’t help but bang on whatever was near me to the awesome beat of the drums. It’s also worth noting that Dallas delivers the verses in a deep talking style that only adds to how much of a unique song this is.
That’s not the only track that offers a bit of departure from ones they’ve done before. The following one, ‘Listen Close’, is a considerably slower rock song that feels more like a ballad and has a surprising ’80’s style guitar solo (think Bon Jovi or something along those lines) that I can’t say fits. That song serves as a change of pace amidst all the heavier material that features their trademark screaming, heavy riffs and rapid guitar solos.
Still, there seems to be a greater focus on melody this time around and this shows in their lead single ‘Just a Shock’. ‘Oh Lonely Grave’ starts off with this country/bluegrass vibe not too far off from ‘Tale of the Runaways’ off their last album. Then chaos erupts with Dallas’s brutal screaming and Matt’s crazy drumming to send the song to another level. Rounding out everything is a strong string arrangement and you can easily say it’s Maylene’s most diverse track yet.
Overall: III has more variety all across the board than either of Maylene’s two previous efforts. It’s not going to blow you away but it will give you exactly what you are expecting from these guys and likely what you want. A few twists and turns keep things interesting despite a couple of tracks that could’ve been on either of the previous two releases and an instrumental that’s a few minutes too long to close out the album. The bottom line is, if you’re a fan of Maylene you’ll have a blast cranking the volume and cruising down a highway on a blistering summer day. If you weren’t a fan of the screaming before nothing will change now except maybe you’ll actually like a song or two where that doesn’t come into play. Feel free to laugh if you see me rocking out to this at a red light. I won’t care.
Gems of this album are: ‘Step Up (I’m On It)’, ‘Settling Scores by Burning Bridges’, ‘Oh Lonely Grave’, ‘Just a Shock’