Review Summary: Imagine a blend of Maylene and the Songs of Disaster with the style of Underoath's Define the Great Line.
5-piece rock act from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, originally known as Oh Captain, My Captain, recorded a 5-track EP which was later re-issued on TrustKill Records.
Giving the 19 minute E.P. a once over, you feel the pace this band is trying to set with their straight up rock riffs, sometimes with a southern taste; or their [st]screamo[/st] style chug and dissonant combos accompanied by the (now ex-) vocalist's screeches. Some how that doesn't wear his voice out before he unleashes some "ode to the 80's" style vocals. If an 80's band were to have been Jason X'd into our current state of heavy music, I'd find it hard not to believe this would be their sound. Tapping, trills, slides, and all.
The rhythm section is more than solid, that sounding more as an insult, when trying to convey what they are able to accomplish. Unfortunately their talents are ignored due to the fresh vocal styling and the hair band reminiscent guitar play.
MMF also delivers a couple quiet, ambient performances that give you a rest stop along this wild trip through
"Cowbell's Makin' a Comeback
puts the pedal to the medal as it starts with a southern rock riff which sounds harshly similar to Define the Great Line’s opening riff, but is adds a crafty guitar solo to float over it. The vocals have the high, almost "whiney" tone that most are already used to, and tired of, but some how has a sense of it approaching the hair metal era mixed in with some shallow growls and throaty screams. The back-up singing fits perfectly over the lead screams and gives you a lesser than Underoath feel (think A Skylit Drive). The vocal trade offs at the end feel fitting to an argument over bad directions. Soon after "Neutron Cameras vs. Smuggled Nuclear Bars"
gets your foot tapping and is just a song you want to speed to. The guitar fills adorn the rest of the music and vocals before crashing into an Every Time I Die style breakdown. The highlight of the track comes a little more than half way in with some creative duel guitar-tapping and a surprising, almost Mars Volta, style interlude.
At the middle of the album you encounter]"Therapy Caravan of the Fair Room,"
where the rubber will meet the road. Again this one starts off with a southern rock, almost He Is Legend feel, and certainly one of the more aggressive riffs of the 5 songs. By the time catchy vocals find their way back on to the track they deliver one of the vocal highlights of the track. Despite its short length, its vocal harmony drives the song perfectly into a breakdown that fans of any of the previous mentioned bands will adore. That breakdown finally ends with the heaviest part of the album that pays more than just respect to Underoath's "Everyone Looks So Good From Here" breakdown. After driving in a circle back to where the song began, you're hit with another breakdown, one that shows exactly why the Maylene comparison could be made.
”History of Mercia”
instantly reminds you that this is a chug and dissonant but fortunately the vocal work and harmonies help this effort from getting mixed in with the rest of the start-up MySpace “bands” that drop ADD THIS <<<< all over you favorite band’s comments. The second of the ambient spots calms things with some peaceful guitar layers before picking things right back up with the “one-liner” of the album. “SHOW ME YOUR FACE!” Suddenly this dime a dozen Norma Jean, insert band, Underoath rip off song is turning out to be a highlight of EP. By far the most emotional song recorded for album and perfectly placed after the first 3 tracks straight-driven approach. ”Conjuctions, Conjuctions, Everybody Loves Them”
begins with that concluding feel that most bands would pay for. Plenty of aggressive guitar work fades in and you realize that the best was saved for last. The song leaves you stranded, like you just randomly ran out of gas half way to your final destination. The 5 tracks introduce the band's talent and promise, and encourage your anticipation of what this act could deliver on a full-length with their label's backing.
Unfortunately, you will be left wondering what could have come from this line-up, as their original vocalist has left the band (summer ’08). The band (at this time) is currently searching for a new vocalist.