Memphis May Fire- Sleepwalking
Record Label: Trustkill
Release Date: July 21, 2009
After having been given of list of bands to review, I came across a hardcore band from Texas by the name of Memphis May Fire. I had never heard of them before, but randomly decided to give them a listen. Fast forward thirty seconds, and I was already hooked.
Memphis May Fire, a band that has garnished various accolades from such magazines as Revolver and Kerrang, had a lot of pressure on them to put up a successful first full-length, titled Sleepwalking. While they didn’t redefine the hardcore scene by any stretch, Memphis May Fire definitely satisfies.
The opener, “North Atlantic vs. North Carolina” is a fantastic opener, with a great southern swagger to it, along with some strong vocals from front man Matt Mullins. It's not only one of the strongest songs on the album, but sets a great tone leading into the rest of the album. “You’re Lucky It’s Not 1692,” is one of the strongest song on the album, vocally, musically, and lyrically. Seemingly telling the story of a past girlfriend gone wrong, Mullins shines with his contrast of clean and screamed vocals.
However not everything about this is album is perfect. “Been There, Done That,” while heavy at times, feels very bland and unoriginal. In a genre that gets criticized regularly for being stale, this song does not do much to defend against this criticism. “Destiny for the Willing” shows why some have compared Memphis May Fire, to Underoath. Again, it’s a solid song, but does nothing that hasn’t been done before.
The album closes on a great note, with a very blues-inspired guitar solo, then slowly crescendos into one of the heaviest sections of the album, which doesn’t let down until the last couple seconds. The only downside to the song, titled “Speak Now, I’m Listening,” is the odd and very abrupt ending. All in all, Sleepwalking is a very solid album, despite a few small shortcomings here and there. You can tell all the members put in a lot of hard time and hard work, and it definitely shows. Casey Bates, who has produced for Chiodos in the past, also did a great job in helping create such a solid release, and it shows. In a scene quickly becoming stale, Memphis May Fire is a breath of fresh air, which is definitely needed, and well deserved.
Great album. I heard they just got finished writing for their next one.
Yeah they did; this one was really written all instrumental then the new frontman wrote lyrics for it. To me sometimes that can make songs feel like a copy paste job, but i really liked the album but i agree it got old really quick. The guitars are insane tho for anyone who hasn't checked it out, its a def. check out if you play guitar. Get inspired.