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Friday, April 03, 2015

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster -- IV

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7/10

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster hinted at a radio-rock side on select moments of their third album, III. I really needed to point out the chronology there. You're welcome. Anyway, as much as some people hated III's radio-rock elements, *cough* AP Magazine, personally, I thought they were III's best aspect. Apparently, Maylene did, too, because IV is a whole lot less core, and a whole lot more of that radio station where most of the listeners have tribal tattoos.
III also hinted at Dallas Taylor's marital problems. Between III and IV, Taylor and his wife divorced. IV centers around Taylor's anger, confliction (if people can just make up stupid words like "healthful," then I can, too), and in its darker moments, sense of feeling lost and hopeless. Outside of the last two tracks, IV isn't quite a downer, though. Taylor has way too much spit and grit for that to happen. And while "Open Your Eyes," sounds like the best song Breaking Benjamin never wrote, I'll be the first to admit that a very good Breaking Benjamin song is actually a pretty good song. I don't know why I started that previous sentence with "and while." I just transitioned from nothing. Awesome. The radio-rock sound works great for Maylene until track five, "Killing Me Slow," which is really boring. It is followed by "Taking On Water," which is the most Skynyrd Maylene have ever sounded, so hooray. But then, "Fate Games" is a really boring and pointless waste of two minutes. Then "Come For You" is a pretty good Breaking Benjamin song. But then all the rest of the songs are boring, though I like "Never Enough"'s final chorus, and "Cat's Walk" would be a lot of fun if the lyrics weren't in really poor taste. You probably shouldn't include a song about disfiguring a woman with a hammer amongst more complex songs about the woman you are no longer legally bound to. "Drought of '85" features one of the cheesiest drum machines I've heard on a major album, and also ridiculously ponderous and depressing lyrics that make you want to turn the album off. If you did, you'd miss "Off to the Laughing Place," which isn't really that bad of a thing to miss, as it is barely a song.
So anyway, on IV, Maylene prove they can put their own unique twist on airwave-rock, but like III, they can't sustain momentum through the course of the entire album. Hey, those seven good songs are awesome, though, unless you're a spiteful radio hater, in which case this must be your golden age. South Louisiana currently has approximately zero modern rock stations. RIP 104.9, 93.7, 100.7...

This song above doesn't really sound like a Breaking Benjamin song. It sounds like a Maylene song. I hope if they ever pop out another album, they can do stuff like this...not poppy, but palatable. Southern, but not pandering. I dunno, I like it.

2011 Ferret Music
1. In Dead We Dream 3:16
2. Save Me 4:00
3. Faith Healer (Bring Me Down) 3:37
4. Open Your Eyes 3:15
5. Killing Me Slow 4:04
6. Taking On Water 4:05
7. Fate Games 2:16
8. Come For You 3:59
9. Never Enough 2:51
10. Cat's Walk 2:37
11. Drought of '85 4:11
12. Off To The Laughing Place 3:27

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