Maylene & the Sons of Disaster

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster

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With its cover art cunningly distressed to look like a ratty old bargain-bin find -- complete with price tag and deliberately dated cover art and typography! -- the debut album by Maylene & the Sons of Disaster makes its stylistic intentions clear. The new band by former Underoath singer Dallas Taylor pays fealty to the swaggering cock rock bands that played the underbills beneath Peter Frampton and Bad Company all across the hockey arenas of America in the mid-'70s. Think of a new generation version of the Black Crowes, but where their Georgia brethren went all out and tried to become a carbon copy of vintage Faces and Humble Pie records, down to Chris Robinson adopting the fashion sense of a circa 1972 rock dandy, Maylene & the Sons of Disaster don't commit to the sound all the day. Heavy Southern rock riffs and an admirably loose 'n' sloppy rhythm section that favors choogling tempos just a hair slower than the average post-hardcore band take Maylene & the Sons of Disaster about halfway to their stylistic ideal, but Taylor still sings everything in a guttural sore throat bark like he still has Underoath grinding away behind him, and the production still compresses everything into an indistinct roar like it's just another metalcore record, lacking the space that '70s rock production favored. The results are a bizarre melding that don't really work: imagine Hunky Dory-era Bowie in front of an early Sun Records session to comprehend the oddness of the generational culture clash on display here.

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