Album Review :
Memphis May Fire - Challenger

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Artist: Memphis May Fire
Title: Challenger
Label: Rise Records
Release Date: 06/26/2012
Reviewer: Ryann Kunst


  1. Without Walls
  2. Alive in the Lights
  3. Prove Me Right
  4. Red In Tooth Claw
  5. Vices
  6. Legacy
  7. Miles Away (feat. Kellin Quinn)
  8. Jezebel
  9. Losing Sight (feat. Danny Worsnop)
  10. Generation:Hate
  11. Vessels

*starts head banging* MMF is here going strong on this album. The first track is what they will be opening with on Warped Tour this year and it’s a “heavy-one-minute-get-pumped” song. “Alive in the Lights” is the second and first real track on this album and it mixes the old MMF with the new Rise Records style perfectly. If you watched the video with McGregor then you know he really wanted to add the southern style riffs into this album along with the post-hardcore breakdowns that we all love.

Now before I go on let me say that I have followed this band since day one, and I love them, and I know how PERSONAL this album is to them.

With that being said let’s move on to track number two, “Prove Me Right”. This track was released first and early for everyone to hear. I can attest to this, because I myself use to own a record label (actually two of them) and I worked for a few as well. I saw management let bands slip away because they didn’t do what they wanted. Or the label would “shelf” them which is what a lot of bands suffer from today; basically it means – we have you in contract, and we aren’t going to let you record, you’re in prison now – sucky right? Thankfully that didn’t happen to MMF. Oh one last thing on this track, the line… “money hungry cowards ” in his deep dirty vocals, just makes me want to record again. I love that moment.

“Red in Tooth and Claw” has some of the most amazing producing on it, because of the ambience in the back, along with McGregor’s guitar tricks that most of the listeners over-look.  With a strong sense of southern rock, they throw in the metal lyrics and screams that will just melt your face. This track was very well developed and put together in my opinion. “It was like my heart was made to be broken!”

“Vices” was another pre-released track, I won’t go to far into it. I believe it’s an amazing song lyrically, and also something we can all relate too.

Now “Legacy” makes the album for me! This song brings everything together. If this song were sold as a single would blow up and make them money. It’s inspiring, aspiring, truthful, hurtful, pushing, and heavy. “You’ll never know what you can do if you don’t try now” . This song speaks to me personally because of my clothing line. It’s a dream of mine to have a clothing line that helps support children in need, and I’m going for it. I know we all have dreams, we are all dreamers, and we all have things we want to achieve. “Take what you can get it, while you can get it” and the silent moment with clean vocals “lift up your eyes discouraged one, when you feel like giving up, when they say it can’t be done…it’s up to you to show them that they are wrong”. I can’t describe the chills I get throughout this song, clearly it’s my favorite. Dreamers, Dream & Chase.

“Miles Away” is about Matty’s wife Britt who I know personally, and can tell you that she is one of the strongest woman I have ever met in my life. She’s let her husband pursue his dreams and without hesitation supports him. On top of this, she’s a woman of God. I call her my sister, not only because she is in Christ, but because that’s how I look at her. She’s respectable, she’s a role model for woman who are hearing Matty’s tunes. Matty really describes the pain of leaving his wife for tour and shows and other ventures. The line “I left my heart at home” really shows that she comes first in his life. “God give me the strength to do what you created me to do” shows that Matty knows he’s been given a gift from our Father and wants to follow through on that. Again, let’s all pray for the Mullins as they are a couple of respect, integrity, and amazing true 1 Cor 13 love. We love you Britt and Matty.

Boom, jumping right into “Jezebel”. I think we all know what this is about: a call out to the girls who will lose respect for themselves and attack the bands with flirting, drinks, and sex to gain access to the VIP section, or even go as far as to bring the members down in thoughtless acts. However, MMF calls it out and calls it a “disease”.
They even go as far as saying “dropping names, you’re all the same” it’s one of the more intense and direct shots at certain people in the scene. Good job boys.

“Losing Sight”, which features Danny Worsnop, is one of those tracks that are going to make you want to jump, so hopefully they play it during Warped Tour. “Where is the inspiration I need?! How could I hate this? I use to crave this!” I’m not sure if this is a shot at anyone, but themselves. It talks of pressure and release. It talks about having to deal with hectic methods of tour, music, and labels. Keep in mind, that’s all in my opinion, I could be wrong.

“Generation:Hate” is the last full track of the album and I can say they go out with a BANG. The line “Waste all your days complaining” seems like they might be calling someone out? I believe so. I love this album and how direct and bold it all is! I want to mention that fact with all these amazing lyrics. The drums, the bass, the guitar, the producing, the very way the album art is; it’s all amazing. They close this album with “If you want to say it to my face, BRING IT ON” and what a great closing song. They do however tie the knot with an instrumental at the end called “Vessels” to ease you out of the album.

Overall: This album competes for the best in 2012 so far! I hope everyone can find worth in this album, and come away knowing more about the band and growing with them. I suggest picking this up ASAP, it’s going to be an album to remember for sure. Enjoy seeing them on Warped Tour!


RIYL: Of Mice & Men, The Color Morale, Hands Like Houses