One of my favorite albums that have been released in the past few years in Memphis May Fire’s Challenger. It was released on June 26, 2012. The cover art of the album shows a face that represents someone being challenged or is being challenging. Memphis May Fire is a band from Dallas, Texas and is signed to Rise Records. I had the pleasure of seeing them live at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia later that year during the Outbreak tour. One of my favorite songs from the album is “Vices.” It seems to be the most meaningful and uplifting to me.
Matty Mullins, the vocalist and frontman of Memphis May Fire, wrote “Vices” to discuss the viewpoint of someone who struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction. The song does not represent Mullins or the band themselves, but many people they have met who have substance issues. He is trying to overcome these struggles in the song and questions how he came to be in the position he was in. The song’s chorus is catchy and upbeat but has moments of heavier tones and lower pitched vocals. Mullins’s cleans during the chorus provide a nice contrast to the verses in between where he introduces mid screams and occasional growls. The song climaxes at a breakdown towards the end.
Drowning myself every night
Me vs Me has always been my biggest fight
I’ve been so confused for so long
And the answers always seem so far out of sight
So, I fill it up, fill it up one more time
So that when everything is wrong at least I still feel right.
I’m in a tunnel but I can’t see light.
Mullins addresses the reliance on alcohol to feel better when things in life are not turning out well for him. He also talks about the internal conflict he has with himself.
And I’ve been thinking this could be the end of me
Who is this person in the mirror I see
And I have come so far, thought I was so strong
The truth is I just fed myself a lie
For too long.
I never thought this would be me.
He talks about how he doesn’t even recognize himself anymore and that he had a false sense of empowerment when in reality he relied on drugs.
This song doesn’t just relate to drugs and alcohol, but can apply to any struggle that a person is experiencing. Any crutch or self-destructing habit fits this song. My personal connection with this song comes from the way the lyrics relate to personal problems that I have with myself. It applies to the bad habits and poor decisions that I make sometimes that set me back.