The Mayan Factor
Yesterday's Son


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
December 22nd, 2012 | 50 replies | 15,229 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A truly beautiful way to say goodbye.

When art rockers The Mayan Factor announced the release of an album a year after the band’s lead singer, Ray-Ray, died of a heroin overdose, the news was met with both surprise and confusion. The group’s third album Yesterday’s Son isn’t an album of new material written post-Ray-Ray’s passing, the band has stated that the songs appearing on the album all began as demos that were written and partially recorded in sessions years before the tragic loss of their singer. As an act of closure, the band has re-recorded new instrumental tracks to back the original vocal takes from their vocalist, and bundled up the newly finalized versions of the originally unreleased tracks as their farewell album to their fans.

What’s most impressive about Yesterday’s Son is how cohesive it sounds. Even though the vocal takes are a few years old, the music flows very naturally around Ray-Ray’s singing, so much so that it’s as if he was actually recording the music with the band. The production seamlessly brings every element together, and the finished result feels very much so alive, something that many posthumous releases of unreleased songs understandably lack. You can really feel the care, effort, and emotion that was poured into the heart of these songs.

The musical quality of Yesterday’s Son is as brilliant as it's ever been for the band. The layered contrast between the delicate acoustic strumming and shimmering electric guitars makes for a simply gorgeous atmosphere that projects imagery akin to a sunset on a spring day: the sunlight feels soft and dwindling, but it always seems brightest as its fading into the horizon. The visual of the brightness of the sun on a distant horizon is an image fitting to that of Ray-Ray’s vocal performance, in that it has a bleak sense of poignancy, but it’s also warm and comforting with a glimmering assurance of hope. Ray-Ray sings in a rustic low-tone, reminiscent of iconic grunge outfit Pearl Jam’s frontman, Eddie Vedder. The band also keeps short recordings in the album of Ray-Ray briefly speaking in the demo sessions before the tracks start, his voice haunting these songs and making them feel as full of memories as looking through a photo album.

It’s also apparent that The Mayan Factor haven’t lost a step when it comes to their ability to give modern alternative rock a subtle ethnic twist that goes a long way, as the usage of kongo drums for percussion is still present in the album. Though it’s not clear whether or not the songs on Yestrday’s Son were expanded upon since the original demo sessions, or just re-recorded. These songs sound great, but they originally just started out as random demo tracks that never had the chance to be filtered or organized through the process of making an album when they were first conceived, and the mission of the band was to simply finish these songs up by working with whatever vocal demos of Ray-Ray that they could, instead of furthering the songs any more than that. The album is more of a way of just wrapping up what was formerly undone, and though it really can’t be helped, with only seven tracks it’s more of a collection of unreleased material as opposed to a proper album.

Due to this, the album lacks a bit in sonic variation. Every song is along the same lines as one another, and there’s nothing like the jazzy rock cuts that were featured on previous Mayan Factor albums to be found, only songs that have flares of sweeping melancholia and neo-progressive rock flirting, though the band really cannot be faulted for this as it’s probable that songs of another flavor never had a chance to be created before Ray-Ray’s passing.

All in all, Yesterday’s Son is a strongly emotional powerhouse of a tribute to their late lead singer, and one that packs a walloping punch to the heart at that. It shows the band playing in top shape despite their heavy loss, and acts as a heartfelt way of saying goodbye to their fanbase.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
December 22nd 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Happy post-Mayan apocalypse 2012 everybody! What better and more fitting way to
celebrate us all not dying than a review of The Mayan Factor's new album? Hope
you all enjoy.

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

Janeeet
December 22nd 2012


355 Comments


hahahha crazy name

Keyblade
December 22nd 2012


14814 Comments


oh sweet, the new album is out. will check it out.

Digging: Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade

EverythingEvil2113
December 22nd 2012


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome.

Iamthe Nightstars
December 22nd 2012


2245 Comments


Perfect release date.

Digging: Few And Far Between - Three

cb123
December 22nd 2012


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome, must get this

afergusonart
December 22nd 2012


220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

absolutely amazing album.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2012


3449 Comments


Appropriate review

StagnantWords
December 22nd 2012


318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album, glad to see a contributor/staff review this.

PayneTiger777
December 22nd 2012


4390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've already heard most of these songs during their demo stage and this release makes them even more beautiful. This really makes me wish that Ray was still alive.

TheMilQ
December 22nd 2012


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is just so good

johnnydeking29
December 22nd 2012


9024 Comments


Fuck the Mayans

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story

nanowerx
December 22nd 2012


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great swan song from one of my favorite bands. Amazing album, the only problem is that there aren't more tracks. Dead Leaves is easily one of the best songs they have ever recorded. Look forward to hearing more from the new band with new lead singer, also named "Yesterdays Son."

Fuck heroin.

PayneTiger777
December 22nd 2012


4390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You can look up some more unreleased tracks on youtube that are pretty spectacular as well. Port Side Low, Rain, Heaven, Hell, and Wash Me Clean are all just as good as these.

nanowerx
December 22nd 2012


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wow, just listened to those tracks you suggested, I had already heard Heaven and Hell, but the others are new to me. Rain is incredible! These tracks definitely should have been on the album, they need a proper release.

afergusonart
December 22nd 2012


220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Man Hello is so sad, yet so calming. This entire album almost feels like a release, or a coming-to-terms-with-things. There's just several moments that sound entirely happy or peaceful.

iswimfast
December 22nd 2012


1304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

im so excited for this.

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

Nikkolae
December 22nd 2012


4847 Comments


shit i forgot this was out yesterday, gonna go get it right now, nice review btw.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

BranchOutMusic
December 23rd 2012


1 Comments


I love the Mayan Factor. Ray was a great guy along with all of the guys in the band. This album is awesome, Ray always talked about coming out with the Heaven and Hell EP, if he was still around I wonder what other amazing music he would have wrote. Very cool that the band pulled together and did this. Just shows how much they really miss Ray. And I'm sure they did it for the fans too, which is exactly what Ray would have wanted.

setton
December 23rd 2012


2 Comments


really cool album
I'm glad I found this here



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