AOM Logo January 2000

The Mayfield Four, Fallout

Epic (Sony Music)
Playing Time: 57:21

Christopher Tocher

When a band sets out to create an album, one expects at least a coherent core on which the music is based. I cannot possibly hypothesize what the Mayfield Four members were thinking when they compiled their latest album, Fallout.

Fallout is about as unmelodic as a pop/rock album gets. The banal instrumental drone of bass, guitar and drums gnaws at the mind and frays the soul. It is the very lack of interesting instrumentation that causes the record to flop miserably. Each song is severely bound by the composers' creative limit and leaves no impression or trace of musical residue in the mind of the listener. As such, Fallout's attempt at being anything tangible or real is simply weak and unappealing.

The twelve songs relate to personal demons, shattered emotions and torrid love affairs. Musically, this band seems to be helplessly caught in a time warp that spans the lexicon of 70's to early 80's hard edge sound akin to listless Led Zeppelin and dusty Whitesnake. With a debut such as this, the Mayfield Four is undoubtedly heading toward a permanent career as an opening stadium act and sequestered tours on the one lane highway of mediocrity.

The Four seem young and musically naive. They have tackled the first, and enormous, obstacle; they are signed with one of the largest, most corporately efficient run music labels on the planet. Step two should concentrate on practicing diligently, attaining a somewhat musical presentation no matter how hard edged - then, sell records. The only way I see this happening is by releasing the blatant anger and focusing on why they presumably got in the business for: making music that appeals to their own probity while punters empty their record bins. In their musical world, better record store shelves laid bare than their souls.

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