Here is Alice Cooper's take on rock 'n' roll today. What constitutes a rock band to you?
Once upon a time, there played a melodic rock band from San Antonio, Texas that called themselves Memory of a Melody. This once four-piece band had three tunes that caught this street team leader's ear, one in particular that was an acoustic version of a song labeled "Pulse". Their live shows at one point included two large clear drums at the front of the stage they would play Nothing More style and the occasional on stage acrobatics sprinkled with a little bar table singing. Another up-and-coming band working hard to make their mark in the local music scene with dreams of making it to mainstream. Nonetheless, their was memory of a certain melody infused in "Pulse" that refused to leave my head and caused me to keep an eye on this four piece, in particular the lead singer. There was just something about the way the front man sang each word of "Pulse" that made the song drip with heart-felt emotion. At one point while listening to the song I half expected the singer to burst into tears.Nearly a year and a half passes. Witnessing two other MOAM live shows during that time span, I noticed the band was undergoing a series of lineup and major sound changes as they seemed to transition from a melodic to a hard rock/metal band. The mask was beginning to fall and the band breaking away from what they were. Slowly but surely the caterpillar was turning into a butterfly. The memory of that certain melody began to play even louder in my head.The caterpillar continued to transform with the release of a single called "Mask". I will admit I am not a fan of screaming tunes. When I first listened to "Mask", my ears wanted to shut down from the screaming yet my fingers wanted to press the play button on it once more to hear the harmonies in each verse and the explosive guitar work at the beginning of the song. Eventually the fingers won but the ears still regulated how many times the fingers pressed the play button.Determined to grab my full attention, the memory of that certain melody blared a tune directly in my face entitled "Break Away". It succeeded. I was blown away at first listen. After all, how could I possibly deny such kick ass guitar work backing angry Daughtry vocals and drums that refuse to let you catch a break? The caterpillar is rapidly changing into a butterfly on this one!The talent emerged even more with the band's long awaited release of their debut album Things that Make You Scream. With all new members except the lead singer, a harder, edgier sound, and Bryan Scott (previously with The Union Underground, now with Cult to Follow) in the production seat, Memory of a Melody version 12.5 finally arrived. From the new sound to the flag-like logo, this album is determined to make you scream with excitement over how bad ass it is and what an incredible fictional story it tells.Rivaling any current mainstream rock release, Things That Make You Scream is one of those rare albums that tells a story not just in lyrics and melodies but in album art as well. With the visual appeal of a KISS album cover, the front cover of Things That Make You Scream depicts two images of a man in business attire with a red blindfold tied over his eyes sitting on an antique couch in a Victorian meets modern living area. The image of the man sitting on the left end of the couch is screaming at the one on the right who is leaning forward with his elbows resting on his knees, hands folded, and facing forward. Not only does this album art catch your eye on a CD rack from across the room, it demands you stare at it for several minutes while pondering exactly what inner turmoil this guy is going through. Is he a psycho hiding in average Joe clothing? What is he hiding under the mask? You know he has a secret. Was he able to keep it?
After opening the front flap of the album, you are greeted by the imprint of a blood red hand. Things just got even more interesting. Who's hand print is this? Did he kill someone or did someone murder him? I say the maid killed him in the parlor with a candlestick! While I can easily pick my favorite songs off of this album ("Til' Death Do Us Part", "Things that Make You Scream", "Skin Deep", "Break Away", and "Darkest Hour"), I can't deny the important clues each song lyrically provides in the all encompassing fictional story of murder and betrayal that makes up Things That Make You Scream. "Mask" not only provides clues about how the victim looked after he or she was murdered ("Pale face white as ghosts...lips stretched with my blood"), it gives a little insight on how the killer felt by what the victim did to cause him to commit such a crime. "Break Away" provides clues on the killer's motive. According to the lyrics, the victim was dishonest and committed a sin. Did the victim have an affair with someone else? "Til Death Do Us Part" further describes the killer looking over a lifeless body: "your speechless, breathless but I don't care since we're together again. We won't be stopped. They don't understand even if you can't breathe."The plot thickens with the single "Things That Make You Scream". Have a look at its accompanying music video below. Notice one of the victims is the same man depicted on the album cover. I still say the maid killed him in the parlor with a candlestick but that's just me. : )
After listening to the album countless times, watching the music video for "Things that Make You Scream" even more times, and reading the lyrics to each song at least twice, the imagination cannot help but run wild with possible motives, the events that lead to the crime, and how the crime took place. Whatever Bryan Scott did to get this fantastic fictional story out of these talented musicians and whatever the musicians did to prepare themselves to write such an impressive album, please keep doing it. Hopefully the next music video will shed even more light on this murder mystery. While we all wait with baited breath for the next chapter on this fictional story, MOAM teases us yet again with a seven track live EP entitled Official Live 2012 that has live versions of the songs "Ultraviolence", "Til Death Do Us Part", "Darkest Hour", "Things That Make You Scream", "Mask", "Pieces", and a brand new studio recorded track entitled "Mouthful of Razors". Is "Mouthful of Razors" that next chapter or the start of a brand new story? Either way, you will definitely want to keep an eye on what this band does next. They are turning into one hell of a beautiful butterfly!To keep track of all things Memory of a Melody, visit their official website and give them a "like" on their Facebook page.