Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Mayfield Four - Second Skin (2001) Album Review

Cutting to the chase - this is one of the best rock albums I've heard in a long time. Just to be nitpicky, I'd say the music is "post-grunge", with a very strong 90s vibe to it, particularly reminiscent of old Stone Temple Pilots, with a singer that sounds a bit like Chris Cornell, though he doesn't use his nasal cavity as much as Chris does, therefore better.

I'm talking about Myles Kennedy. Yep, that's a name you've probably heard before. Singer-extraordinaire of Alter Bridge. You know, that band with the ex-Creed members. (Correction: ex-ex-Creed members.) "Blackbird" was actually the first album that got me hooked with Alter Bridge, and after realizing how much of a good singer Myles is, I decided to check out some of his old stuff since most people seem to talk about it a lot. So here we are.

This wasn't the first M4 album I've heard. Heard "The Fallout" first, and while it had its merits, particularly Myles' heavily-influenced Jeff Buckley singing, it wasn't until I heard "Second Skin" before I was compelled to dig up this blog and hastily write something about them.

The Mayfield Four
This album is surprisingly accessible, for a band that struggled to break into the mainstream during the turn of the millenium. I love the musicianship found here, and as a sort of a musician myself, you could tell after listening to a few songs that it came easy for them. The chemistry is undeniable, and all tracks blend in perfectly with each other. You'd be surprised you couldn't find one filler or out-of-place song anywhere. It's absolutely a gem from start to finish. It flows perfectly, barely changing gears or pace, just a constant assault of good old (post) grungy rock, until it slows down to climax into the magnificent end track "Summergirl" - a song that perfectly demonstrates just how high Myles' voice can soar.

It's sad to hear they've already broken up. I actually "sort of" prefer M4 over AB. And this album over AB's "Blackbird". Wait... I take that back. It's a hard choice. Blackbird is a bit beefier and much more deliberate, while Second Skin had musicians that I felt were a bit more relaxed and musically in-tune with each other, churning out a much more effortless piece of music. And it shows.

- post-grunge at its finest

- none (besides the band broke up).

10 out of 10