Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster – Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster
Mono Vs Stereo
October 25, 2005
What It Sounds Like: A perfect cocktail consisting of 1/3 southern rock, 1/3 hardcore, and 1/3 metal. Mix it up with half and half doses of screams and clean vocals – and you’ve got a fantastic debut.
What do you do when you’re Dallas Taylor, and you’ve just been half fired (other half resigned) as lead singer for the up and coming metalcore act Underoath? Where do you go from there? Your former band just released a huge selling smash called They’re Only Chasing Safety in 2004 with a new lead singer. Do you get jealous at all? Do you let life get you down?
Or do you start a band called that, now four records in, puts the later half of Underoath’s catalog to shame?
Yeah…you do that.
Yes, different styles between the two bands, but there’s no contest: Maylene executes theirs better than Underoath. End of story.
The first Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster record was pavement-splitting breakthrough. There had been southern rock, and there had been metal and hardcore, but (at least to my ears), I had never heard a band combine them all so effortlessly. They just picked up their gear, threw down, and blew your speakers. Tough As John Jacobs comes at us halfway through the record, but serves at the perfect single for their first outing. It’s heavier on the southern elements than the hardcore elements, which is obviously easier on the common listeners ear. The steady, heavy kick drums starts us out, along with a straight-out-0f-the-backwoods-swamp guitar riff that you can see destroying an out in in the sticks, small town bar on the outskirts of town. Dallas snarls his way through like a forest wanderer turned creature, showing off his evolution. Take that, Spencer! Let it be known, Underoath was a great band, but they don’t shine a light on Maylene.
Never Stop Haunting showcases an unnerving Halloween horror movie style riff, while Dallas spits lyrics like When you’re blue and beautiful / you’ll see what you’ve become. Watch out kids! But the winning instrument on this record is those freaking drums. Bang, The Witch Is Dead blasts out of out gate with a rapid drum fill that switches gears and turns into a heavy, slow burn of a monster jam. Gausty Like The Wind jump starts with a wicked double kick that you can feel in your chest. Just Wanted To Make Mother Proud closes us off with a spoken (though heavily garbled) narrative concerning Ma Barker and her gang of criminals, where Maylene have taken their band name from. We even get some fiddle!
While it may not be the best song to listen to first off this record, the opening track Caution, Dangerous Curves Ahead has to be my favorite. There’s no intro; no slow buildup. Hit play, and Dallas screams a blood-curling mouthful of venom right in your face. The guitars chug along, while the instruments in the verse could almost be described as scarce next to the vocals and steady drumbeat, there’s no denying the incredible power that’s here. Midway through, the guitars come in at full force for an awesome solo. My favorite moment though comes only twenty five seconds into the song, while everything drops out except Dallas’ vocals, and he absolutely delivers, with every ounce of power, force, and rage into the line: YOU RAN. I’M STILL SWINGING.
There’s no doubt in my mind – if John McClaine would have had a walkman and headphones on while he was blowing away the German terrorists trying to take over Nakatomi Plaza – this is exactly the record he would have been listening to.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Gausty Like The Wind / Tough as John Jacobs