Mephiskapheles is not earnestly trying to induce headaches (as far as I can tell) with their even-more-hard hard-core sound, a sound that sometimes fluctuates between the ska they were known for in the past.
The past is clearly behind Mephiskapheles on their new album, where they nearly abandon the ska they once played, for a brand of "hardly-ska" that is more hardcore. In my opinion, Mephiskapheles has pointed itself in another direction, a direction I do not follow with reckless abandon. Comparing albums such as "God Bless Satan" with "Might-ay White-ay" will showcase this supposed gradual progression. Yet, its just not a progression, because that would imply a forward motion for this band.
My main complaint is not that a band has chosen to incorporate one musical genre more prevalently. Its just that they do not do it that well. There is no new musically ground being broken on "Might-ay White-ay" -- its all been heard before, and better.
If you've read this far, you'll probably think I'm being too harsh. Well, I'm being honest, and my honesty also includes some of the better things about this album, namely the song "Devil's Due," a catchy, simple ditty that is very sing-song. The trumpet's staccato is very addictive here. "Tallahassee Tango" follows in its footsteps with a lovely keyboard melody. Mephiskapheles is satanic, but in most parts the band fails to be successfully evil in mood, except in "Tallahassee Tango." The lyrics are sung like a black cat's purr.
One song I am not too sure about. I am sure it is thoroughly annoying. "Sonic Demonic" starts out with an introduction that is fit for church. I scratch my head trying to determine if Mephiskapheles' purpose with this song is mocking and satirical. All it comes off as is annoying.
Mephiskapheles does play its music well, but at least on "Might-ay White-ay" its not the best music. Its an album disjointed between a hardcore style and a ska one. Though it does have its gems, and precious ones at that, they are drowned out by the costume jewelry that is the rest of the album.
If you are the type of person who can still keep an entire album in your collection when you only like one song on the album, then "Might-ay White-ay" is for you. However, if you're looking for something you can enjoy in its entirety, this album may not be the best choice.
Catherine Galioto is a contributing writer. Contact her at msmatildarockzone.com.
What People Thought:
I must disagree with Catherine on most of this review. Meph has completely broken new ground not only with this album, but with there music in general. Catherine claims that this style has been done before and better.....by who I ask? You cannot count all of the lame Ska-Core bands that super-impose "marching band" horns over bad punk, so who has done this before? I feel that Meph brilliantly works the horn section into there overall "hard" style, and does it very well indeed. Greg Robinson is a genius composer when it comes to the horn section, and seamlessly integrates the horns into every song. Meph is great at mixing avant-garde with melodic, and the Grand Invideous is (in my opinion) one of the greatest frontmen in the western world! Catherine questions the meaning behind the sing-a-long before Sonic Demonic.....Why look too deep? The meaning is right under your nose my dear... Most of the lyrics are meant to toy with your head, and you may not ever comprehend what it is that Meph is trying to say....That is the beauty of it. In closing, let me say that what Meph has done for Ska is a hell of a lot more creative than everyone else in the genre... Can you say Ska-Core? If there is one thing that has been done to death in Ska, it is Ska-Core. Operation Ivy locked that shit down years ago.
Shemhamforash! Lord Skoochie Inspecter 7-NJ Ska