Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster IV

As history tells it, this is about the longest Dallas Taylor has been in a band. Unfortunately, that might be a bad thing. IV isn't just the weakest Maylene and the Sons of Disaster album yet, it's a sign of compromise for a band that started on their unwillingness to make any. Certainly the softening of their sound was hinted at on III, but IV abandons nearly all of their whisky-soaked grit for a sound that, if it were a portmanteau, could only be described as Panteramore. Not only has Taylor taken up a new insistence on singing, which he's not great at, but songs like "Save Me" or the Hoobastank-ian "Faith Healer" mark the band's first forays into full fledged radio butt-rock. There's the odd dose of their old Southern spirit scattered across the album's 42 minutes, but be sure to listen with a drink in hand; if you're a fan, you'll need it by the third song. (Ferret)