Album Review: The General Maynyrd Band’s Self-titled Debut
This strong rock album features a cornucopia of influences.
After a long wait, I finally have more music to bring to you. Today’s review is The General Maynyrd Band’s debut album, The General Maynyrd Band. I always find self-titled albums to be a bit awkward writing about, as saying the name twice in a row is quite a mouthfull.
The General Maynyrd Band is an amalgamation of multiple California Bay Area bands, including several members from Crooked Flower – who’s psych-rock album Into the Light I reviewed earlier. Dan Ingberman, Daniel Erik, and Patrick Shields all bring their musical chops to this release, alongside newcomers Dave Combs (vocals), Will Kyriazis (keys), Tom Relling (slide guitar), and Drew Southern (guitar).
First up is the song, “Talkin’ To My Fish”. Wow, this song has a lot of elements. Funky keyboards, 60’s-style organ, slap bass, psychedelic effects, janky rhythm, it’s a cornucopia of sound. It’s slow to midpaced throughout, and ends nicely with an organ solo. What a start! I hope the rest of the album stays this strong.
“Sinner” is a solid blues rock track, with plenty of guitar flairs. It shares similar percussion to the previous track, though the keyboards are much more lessened. Straightforward and to the point.
“You’re the Type” goes back to the janky, jazzy rhythm of the first track, and ups the keyboards. This one has a very 60’s atmosphere, with a cool, long, guitar solo in the latter half. Another great track.
“Catch a Pirogue” takes a very southern turn, with very prominent slap bass, piano, and harmonica. This is an interesting turn, and it works. The vocals are also appropriately southern-fied, thankfully not in the pop-country way.
“Trouble Is My Business” starts off with some slow piano, and is the first ballad on the album. It stays with the southern spirit, though doesn’t feature as many elements as “Catch a Pirogue”. It’s a bit disappointing, but doesn’t take away from the album as a whole, as the guitar solo at the end gives it a boost.
“Can’t Stop Rockin'” opens with a Hammond organ chord, shortly bringing in a nice rock riff. The rhythm in this one just makes you want to get up and move, while the vocals are a bit more unrestrained than normal. This one brings back the musical mayhem from the first and third track.
“Glad to See You” begins with the piano again, but lacks the earlier southern sound. The guitar doesn’t take over until a fourth of the way in, and is another fairly straightforward rock song, except for the long guitar solo towards the end.
“General Schmang” is firmly in 60’s territory again, with the organ up front and personal. There’s a nice rocking back rhythm, and two expressive solos – one guitar, the other organ.
“Alligator Freak Show” mainly shows off the album’s treading so far. Piano, some southern touch, blues influence, funky keys, you name it. However, there’s nothing you haven’t already heard yet, so on to the next one.
“No End”, the last track, is a calming affair. It picks up about half way through with some tribal rhythms and percussion, showing there’s still some surprises left in the album.
The General Maynyrd Band’s debut is a good listen all the way through. It keeps your attention with the varied instrumentation, solid vocals, catchy melodies, all with little downsides.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.