Review Summary: ...
Artist: Memphis May Fire
Album: Between the Lies (Ep)
Date: November 2, 2010
Label: Trustkill Records
Memphis May Fire released their self-titled Ep in 2007 and then went into the studios to record their debut album. During the sessions vocalist Chase Robbins left and bassist Austin Radford followed. Cory Elder took up at bass while the band held open auditions for a vocalist through their MySpace. The band had already recorded their instrumentals with producer Casey Bates when they chose Matt Mullins to take the spot of lead vocals. Mullins recorded his vocals and then the band started touring in support of their debut.
“Sleepwalking, the band’s debut, showed signs of talent with great instrumentation but it didn’t over shadow the albums flaws; Mullins weak screams and growls; the music’s lack of intensity; generic lyrics and song structures. It had its highlights and promises but it seemed that the band had lost the power that made their debut such a triumph. Now the band has released their second EP titled, Between the Lies, and it find the band regaining energy while changing their sound drastically.
The bands strength has always been the dual guitar attack of Kellen McGregor and Ryan Bentley and on Between the Lies they drop the countrified riffs for more of a metalcore style riffing. It takes away some of the bands personality but it produces a more unified presentation of the instruments where the drums and bass become equally powerful (Unlike past releases there is heavy use of double bass probably due to new drummer Eric Molesworth). Besides the duo still has the ability to shred better than most guitarist within the genre (Check out the guitars at the beginning of “Be careful what you wish for”).However, the biggest change for the band is the much improved vocals of Matt Mullins. He sounds comfortable and in control unlike Sleepwalking where he sounded weak and awkward. His growls are powerful while his clean vocals sing infectious choruses (Lead single “Action/Adventure” is a good example”.
As good as it is there’s still much room for the band to improve; the album is absolutely flooded with breakdowns; their song structures are lacking the originality that their older compositions possessed; and the bands attempt at balladry is an epic fail. Also, despite using vocal overdubs to great effect, the band still needs to learn how to put their sampling and production tricks to better use.
Overall it’s a promising release from a young band that possesses a lot of talent, whether they’ll ever make music that lives up to their potential or not remains a question, but for now Between the Lies possesses enough energy and power to be a good listen.
Highlights: “Be careful what you wish for”, “Action/Adventure”