“I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House does it again with their follow up to 2010’s The Sounds Of Dying…” is the way I originally started this piece and while true, it just doesn’t really capture anything. So I stared at that line every day for a bit, trying to add to it. Then it dawned on me “I am not a music journalist” and Mayberry deserves more than trite journalism. With that out of the way I could actually start writing down what I think. So let me start by saying: If you don’t like ICLASOB, I don’t think we can be friends and there’s a good chance I’d rather hit you in the mouth than look at you. Now, let’s talk about Mayberry

There are just some albums that make you want to set things on fire, hit something, drink a fifth of sour mash, or something equally self-destructive and Mayberry storms in to those ranks but, in a rather different turn, it implores you to think twice about it. Now don’t take that to mean that there’s a lot of hope in this album. Michael Dean Damron isn’t really known for putting a lot of hope in to his songs and the thirteen tracks on this one aren’t any different. This one really is, for the most part, a frank statement on the way things are and how futile it can be to look at the world around you.

The only way I can describe my first impression of Mayberry is that these songs weren’t just written for the sake of writing but rather because not writing them wasn’t an option. That feeling, that desperate feeling, doesn’t wane over multiple listens. I’ll be honest, it’s not an easy listen some days because these boys are so damn good at pulling you in to the scene that Mike D paints with his words. There are no ambiguous lyrics here, no meaning left to the listener it’s all blood, guts, semen, tears, and truth wrapped in rock ‘n’ roll spilling out the speakers.

Someone recently mentioned to me that I don’t talk about the way an album sounds, or some such (I wasn’t really paying attention), and I don’t. I know what I like in music and that’s music that makes me feel things. If an album doesn’t make me feel some emotion then I couldn’t possibly care less if it’s the most amazing musical accomplishment in history. Either move me or get the fuck out of the way. ICLASOB has never failed to move me. From the first time I played Put Here To Bleed after being given it by someone in Lucero at a show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (I don’t remember who) until now I have been a fan and Mayberry has done nothing if not validated that feeling. Five studio albums, a live album, a DVD, a break up, and God knows what else and they can still put together something this raw? I don’t know how they do it but I for one am grateful! Now you be good little boys and girls and listen to the tracks I’ve linked, and go buy yourself a copy, I’ve got things that need setting afire…

Editor’s Note: Essential Listening.

I Can Lick Any SOB In The House – Mayberry
I Can Lick Any SOB In The House – Bones
I Can Lick Any SOB In The House – King James

Buy Mayberry
I Can Lick Any SOB In The House Official Site
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  1. Nice writeup. Yes, this is dark material for the most part, but there is hope in there too. Maybe not in the lyrics so much, but you can feel it in the music in many places. I can’t say enough about this band. I’m new to ICLASOB and I still haven’t heard some of their older material, but I do know that I love this recording. Everyone should have this record, and even more importantly, everyone should see this band LIVE because they are very very good.


  2. Thank you! It’s amazing how many people don’t get it when I tell them music is about the emotional resonance with me and not about a catchy hook or the most mathematically exquisite composition. I want something that will tickle my pits, kick me in the balls, spit on my heart or poke at my brain, sometimes I want all of those at once. The emotional element is what makes music personal. Anyone can study music and give elaborate pretentious break downs of why one “should” like an album, but there is a special bond when music can actually emotionally move you that can’t be taught. Great review and statement on how you review and choose the albums you like. Those are the exact reasons I come this site.

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