Southern rock never dies; it just hangs on the sidelines until another of its native sons takes up the mantle. Maylene frontman Dallas Taylor is another artist picking up the greasy licks, hard-charging boogie, and country-fried rawk codified by acts like the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and .38 Special. Taylor's crew injects a hearty dose of hard-rock posturing and a dash of metalcore aggression into arena-ready Southern blues crunch. It's not as brutal as his past output, boasting bigger hooks and plenty of chunky riffage that make tracks like "Dry the River" and "The Old Iron Hills" ideal for a backwoods kegger. Maylene's new release, III, is its most accessible to date, with a keen balance of foot-stomping grooves and hair-flying guitar pyrotechnics, as well as Taylor's best singing to date.
Headliner Emery has struggled to define its identity at times, thanks to the bursts of dreamy textured rock and math-y, post-punk throwdowns that inhabit the group's Christian metalcore sound. Its latest, In Shallow Seas We Sail, rediscovers the screamo roar of its debut without sacrificing the melodic acumen of prior albums, producing its darkest, hardest-hitting arrangements and still allowing light to shine on tracks like "Inside Our Skin."