Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster
Fans would tell you that one of the most endearing things about Birmingham, Alabama’s Maylene and the Sons of Disaster is that they’re genuinely one of those bands that can’t be pigeonholed. Are they Southern rock? Metal? Post-hardcore? The answer to all is, “Sometimes.”
With each progressing album, the band, fresh from tours with Clutch and Protest The Hero, finds new ways to tweak things.
“This record is all over the board,” admits frontman Dallas Taylor. “Some of the tracks are the most chaotic thing we’ve ever done, and there’s tripped-out songs. Some of the songs have parts that are the heaviest thing we’ve ever done, and then there are acoustic parts. It is a new Maylene, in a lot of ways, and truly our most focused album by far.”
Called IV, the album is a progressive, experimental melding of heavy rock, with elements of metal and even country. The songs are delivered with ferocious intensity, delivering infectious rhythms, imposing riffs, and Taylor’s vocals, that shift from smoky to nasty with ease. There’s even slide guitar on IV.
You will hear sounds on this album you never expected to hear come out of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. There’s hard driving rockers you won’t be able to forget, and songs that would make you think Maylene are today’s answer to Motley Crue. Then, there are others that sound like the best of Pantera, reflecting their Southern roots. Lovers of the guitar will have much to feast on with this set, especially with songs like “Open Your Eyes,” “Save Me,” and “In Dead We Dream.”
IV was produced by Brian Virtue and Rob Graves and is the band’s first record since a tour-ending accident in late 2009, after which the band nearly split up. The name of the album keeps with Maylene’s tendency to christen their work with numerals, and follows the band’s well-received -- both critically and commercially -- 2009 offering, III. The LP debuted in the Top 100 on Billboard’s albums sales chart.
Lyrically, IV is pulls tightly at your heart, and reflects the painful, emotional roller coaster Taylor was going through last summer, while Maylene and the Sons of Disaster were writing the LP.
“It has a heavy vibe,” Taylor explains. “I hope it will make people question their lives and how they do things, and make people realize what they have. That’s what a lot of the record is about, and how when you go through bad times, it is usually the innocent people that get hurt, that never should’ve been hurt -- and they often get hurt the most.”
Taylor was going through a divorce and the pain of that ordeal can be felt in songs like “Faith Healer (Bring Me Down)” and “Come For You.”
“I think it will surprise a lot of people who were into Maylene before,” said Taylor. “It is definitely a new band with a new drive and this is the most serious thing we’ve ever done and the most grown-up record I’ve ever made in my life. It was a hard record to make and it took me back to everything I’ve gone through. It was something I wanted to get out and say. Not that I am angry. I’m just wishing life was different.
“As humans, we play things so safe and everything makes sense or everything’s figured out and is how its supposed to be,” Taylor continued. “It’s the most real record I have made in my life. It is a very dark record, but it’s the most truthful and heartfelt thing I have done in my life.”