Album Reviews

Maylene And The Sons of Disaster – II

(Ferret) UK release date: 19 March 2007


Remember Honey Bunny�s immortal line from Pulp Fiction whilst committing the coffee shop heist with her Pumpkin? Can you hear that shrill, strained voice, barking her not so polite ultimatum to the customers of the diner, basically involving an expletive ridden request for everyone to remain still or risk death? Well, that is possibly the only way to describe the coarse, abrasive brutality of Dallas Taylor�s voice every time he opens his mouth.

The former Underoath vocalist proves to be the prefect front man for this whiskered, flannel shirt clad, grimy sextet of rockers who clearly suffer from an inability to separate the modern scream-o scene from a love of ZZ Top and good ol� southern rock. And how brilliantly their disorder manifests on this their second album of screeching guitars and blasting drums.

II is also perhaps the most niche and bemusingly twisted concept album you will come across this year. Based on the antics surrounding cult hero Ma Baker, her infamous sons (of disaster�.see what they did there!?!?) and the killing spree that ensued as the law dodging family was caught and executed in a shoot out; if this record were a film, Tarantino would be all over it.

Memories of the Grove plays out as an anthemic letter from beyond the grave on behalf of Ma Baker, and if the crushing break down doesn�t get your head nodding, you need to turn it up; a lot.

�All of you, go about your day, never really living. Walking so close to death lets me know what it means to be alive!� kick starts Darkest Kin; by far the albums most infectious number. Complete with cowbells, blistering riffs and the ever present blood curdling screech of Mr Taylor, this is a song that should be nailed up to the mast of new aggressive music.

Raised by the Tide continues the unbelievably heavy groove, slow and melodic, but so still so damn weighty it makes you want to shake your beer in the air, even when you�re stuck on the central line at 7am. Death is an Alcoholic is so retro it hurts, but still comes off way cooler than Justin Hawkins ever dreamed The Darkness could be, while Everyone Needs a Hasting has enough lead wizardry to make Velvet Revolver fans sit up and listen too.

The customary (and somewhat predictable) ballad is present in the form of Tale of the Runaways and The Day Hell Broke Loose. But rather than a tacky six string solo number, these two are an authentic unplugged southern jam, with reverb laden Dobro�s wailing out the sort of moody sobriety that Down manage to churn out when they’re sober enough to make a record (although Dallas�s voice is not at it’s strongest here).

If you are bored of hardcore, sick of fringe clad screaming teenagers and are in need of an injection of something heavy but not over powering, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster will remind you why you like rock music in the first place. When it�s played well, it�s not the distortion or the screaming, it�s damn fine song writing that just can�t help but be catchy.


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