Miss May I
Rise of the Lion
by Gavin Lloyd
Levi Benton says inspiration for the new Miss May I album came from letters fans wrote to him. After reading how their music had got their fans through tough times, he says he tried to put himself in their shoes and to write lyrics from their perspective. It’s all too easy to roll your eyes at teenagers’ Twitter bios over statements such as “OMG! (insert scene band) SAVED MY LIFE!!!1!”, but we all had a time when we were less jaded and music was that important to us.
The great thing about music is how it does affect your mood and situation, songs defining moments good or bad times in life. When dealing with problems big or small it helped to put on some music and cut out and stick pictures of your favourite bands all over your text books. It’s undeniable that Miss May I’s way of giving a thank you back to the fans is a hell of a lot better than a competition for one of them to win the prize of sleeping in their beds.
‘Refuse to Believe’ is a great example of Levi’s attempts to write from the perspective of fans and address their problems, dealing with feelings of isolation by spitting in the face of detractors. The album tackles a range of subjects from bullying to reliable ol’ heartbreak, and while it may not provide the answers it’s easy to imagine it lending a helping hand to those going through a shitty time.
Stylistically the band have always been one of the m0shcore scene’s more promising outfits, perhaps because they never did fit that comfortably into that category anyway. This fourth effort sees them drastically toning down any core/scene elements, and instead turning to their scrapbook of metal legends for inspiration. The influence of groove metal’s forefathers runs deep through the album, pulled off with aplomb on the likes of ‘Hero With No Name’. The duelling guitars of ‘Darker Days’ and the thrash leanings of the pacier ‘You Want Me’ – not to mention Ryan Neff’s clean vocals still having a lot more grit to them than many of the wet efforts of their peers – go along way to prove Miss May I as a bonafide metal act.
Rise Of The Lion is a bold step forward for Miss May I, and one that suggests that even if some of their more scene-conscious fans outgrow them in favour of reblogging gifs of newer, more fashionable bands, there’s a wider metal audience for them that is there for the taking. Someone better warn Levi Benton’s postman that his sack will soon be bulging with even more fanmail.
Sounds Like: Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada, Lamb of God
Standout Tracks: Refuse To Believe, Gone, Hero With No Name