The Chicago based trio Mayor for Life has just released their first LP entitled “This Could Have Been Avoided”. This project has been a long time coming, with the recording process spanning almost three years and it’s writing process running even longer. This album may have gone through adversity and delays but it is all worth it in the end. The band explores a lot of styles in this album. Their sound is not set in stone, instead they follow an almost free-form approach, but the main string that connects each track is its high energy, filled with animosity and frustration, the kind of rock that will raise you off of your seat and urge you to scream and jump.
It starts with “Potential Difference”, a song that narrates an aeronautic disaster similar to that of the Hindenburg. Screeching guitars fill the air, while the hook: “Fire in the Sky!” engulfs us in an inescapable heat. “Bury Me With My Gun” moves gears into hardcore with abrasive riffs and rumbling drums. The vocals shift to a different character, now being yelled at full lung capacity.
The band morphs again at “Everything Is Free”, this time into noise rock territory with unexpected rhythm shifts and emotive guitar riffs ala math rock. A mesmerizing lament on how technology has made aspects of life less valuable.
“Sinking Feeling” swings in with a languid attitude. The vocals are narrated, almost like a sermon in a post-hardcore cathedral. Another standout track with its dark and brooding riffs and stabbing rhythmic flourishes.
At the tail end of the album, the noise ramps up to another notch, and we’re fully committed into hardcore. “Bockscar” is harsh and sharp, the kind of romp that would urge you to stick your elbows out and raise your fists on a mosh pit. Followed by “Broadcast”, which is rage and chaos distilled in a 3 minute explosion.
Just when you thought the band couldn’t be more versatile, the album ends with an instrumental. “Rewound” is foreboding and gloomy, a shoegaze-y and industrial wail that’s topped off with subtle synth sounds.
Mayor for Life consists of members Rich Fessler on bass, Todd Rabideau on guitars and Dan Wagner on drums, with each member having a shared role on vocals. This probably explains the variety in this album, where each one chips in as creative lead, or it could also be a result of the decade-long compilation of favorites. Either way, “This Could Have Been Avoided” is a great outlet to vent out all of your frustrations with, especially in this age of pandemic, where disaster and tragedy is a new norm