Label: Rise Records
Released: 16th November 2018
Memphis May Fire return once again with ‘Broken’, which as its title suggests, finds the Texan rockers sifting through the fragments of a turbulent period. It is patently a struggle of both the mind and body. Tracks like ‘The Old Me’ reference struggles against anxiety, while the muscular ‘Watch Out’ presents a call to arms and a promise that scores will be settled.
It is the sheer adaptability of the band that set them apart. Just as comfortable in its harder metalcore moments as it is shifting to stadium rock, sometimes doing so even within the same track, it is like a highlights reel of rock in 2018. When it works as well as it does on much of ‘Broken’, it is exhilarating. The slow, bruising machine-like stomp of ‘Sell My Soul’ shifts gear into an anthemic chorus before Matty Mullins’ superb, wounded vocals kicks in, taking flight from its starting point.
As Mullins warns that “You can’t fix me” on ‘Who I Am’, it feels as much a warning as an admission. The mood pinballs between the bitterness of ‘Fool’ and the gentle honesty of ‘You And Me’, but the album is driven by much more than Mullins’ vocals. Kellen McGregor’s guitars prod and barrel along, while Cory Elder and Jake Garland supply a beefy foundation. Together, ‘Broken’ sees the quartet produce a winning mix of punch-the-air anthems, and whiplash-inducing mosh moments that will surely help to rebuild the most shattered of souls.