A lot of people don't know that Spencer Chamberlin hasn't always provided the screams you hear on your latest Underoath album. Nay, in the pre-Chamberlin days, there was a man named Dallas Taylor, and that man had a very devote following. Diehard fans of older Underoath, like The Changing Times, Cries of the Past, and Act of Depression, have anticipated the return of their fearless hero. Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster marks the return of Dallas Taylor. And the wait is finally over.
The album takes no time building momentum. In fact, it begins with a musical explosion. Taylor's raspy scream is filled in with a "southern-core" style guitar riff before a bit of a pause, and then Taylor again with a "yeah" that, with Alabama pride, takes two syllables to pronounce. It sets the tone for the entire record. There's a Lynard Skynard vibe throughout the entire thirty-five minute run time, but it's infused with a 2005 hardcore sensibility that makes it hard to resist if you are a fan of either style. And even if you aren't, you may find a lot to like about Maylene.
Lyrically, the band stays true to the southern "rebel" attitude, and most of the lyrics reflect that view. They don't shy from spiritual topics either. "The Road Home to Panther Creek" talks about a person prone to identifying their spiritual life by the mood they happen to be in, "If the blinders were gone, would you feel Jesus? You've seen miracles, I know you. Faith comes like waves… And the joy is all material real as you want to believe… Salvation, just an emotion like the one you're riding now… Love is never easy. Not attractive to the weak."
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster is one of the best acts to come around this year. Dallas Taylor fans will not be disappointed about what he's been working on with his free time since Underoath. Definitely the cream of the crop, "southern-core" has not been done this well in quite a while.- Review date: 10/23/05, written by Josh Taylor
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