AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Mayday Parade - Anywhere but Here Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.25
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 3.75
Production 8
Creativity 4.5
Lasting Value 3.75
Reviewer Tilt 4
Final Verdict: 55%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7
Musicianship 6
Lyrics 4.06
Production 8.25
Creativity 4.19
Lasting Value 6.06
Reviewer Tilt 6.38
Average: 60%
Inside AP.net

Mayday Parade - Anywhere but Here

Reviewed by: Chris Collum (10/18/09)
Mayday ParadeAnywhere but Here
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Record Label: Atlantic

This was a user review published several years prior to my becoming staff.

Anywhere but Here is Mayday Parade’s second full-length, their follow-up to 2006’s A Lesson in Romantics, and their first release without Jason Lancaster, former guitarist/vocalist/lyricist. Derek Sanders has stepped up to fill his shoes both lyrically and vocally. Hailing from Ocala, Florida (also the hometown of such bands as A Day to Remember and Underoath), Mayday Parade’s first release was Tales Told by Dead Friends, a self-produced EP that caught the attention of Fearless, who subsequently signed the band for Lesson. Cut from the same mold as the likes of All Time Low and Boys Like Girls, Mayday Parade is a pop-punk band, pure and simple. In the past, what Mayday Parade has lacked in originality, they make up for with catchiness in spades. Additionally, they have (up until this point) made very good use of having two vocalists; without Lancaster, however, that is no longer possible.

Anywhere but Here opens innocuously enough, with clean guitar and resounding snare before launching into "Kids in Love," a song which is unfortunately one of the lyrical highpoints (or rather less lowpoints) of the album. The fact that said song harbors the lines “Her smile, with the wind blowing through her hair/Was so contagious in the air/So satisfying/And I’m still smiling” should tell you everything you need to know about the lyrics on this album: they are bad. Really bad. Mayday Parade has had some lyrical blunders of epic proportions before (see: ‘Black Cat’ on Lesson); however, they have also been known to turn a clever, if unoriginal phrase. Once again though, with the departure of Lancaster, that is out the window.

Lyrics aside, however, "Kids in Love" is not a terrible song. Although a little slow for an album opener (especially for a band of Mayday Parade’s ilk), the song nonetheless has a catchy chorus, melodically sound verses and a passable bridge, complete with a decent but uninspiring guitar solo. The next song is the title track and first single. The reasons why the band chose this song for a single are immediately apparent: cookie-cutter pop-punk chord progressions, slightly emotive lyrics and vocal delivery, mildly interesting keys thrown in here and there, simple verses, an even simpler chorus and…wait for it…a key change before the last chorus. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the mediocre, lyrically horrendous bridge and the part where he sings the chorus an octave down over clean, strummed guitar. Sound familiar? It should. While the song serves its purpose and works well enough, it is nothing special.

After two songs that are acceptable at least, the album swoops into a nosedive. The only other songs on the album that could fairly be described as anything above mid-tempo from this point onward are "If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet," and "Get Up." However, "If You Can’t…" suffers from its pretentiously long title and the repeated lines, “Baby/I sorely miss the vibrant gleam that’s in your eyes/I’ll write a song about it.” Spare us, please. The sad part is that this is Sanders’ best attempts at being eloquent and clever. "Get Up," however, suffers from the opposite problem. It recalls "Hello Brooklyn," one of the worst songs on All Time Low’s Nothing Personal, released this summer, as it names different cities as a part of light-hearted, more-than-cringe-worthy lyrics.

As for the traffic jam of ballads and slow burners that fills the middle of the album, "I Swear This Time I Mean It" and "Still Breathing" both use acoustic guitar to no avail, and the rest just drag on from one to the next; there are no more particularly noteworthy songs, whether good or bad. They are just there. Mediocrity is generally prevalent on Anywhere But Here.

The only possible exception to this is ‘The End’—guess where it’s placed on the album, I swear you never will—which is a decent enough mid-tempo album closer, despite the heavily clichéd and drawn out lyrics.

All in all, Anywhere But Here is a huge step backwards for the band, and one that has prompted me personally to write them off as an adequate, or even entertaining pop-punk band. They are going the way that so many pop-punk bands gone wrong have tread before them, and going there fast. And it’s probably too late. Despite the recent resurgence of respectable pop-punk this year, I’m afraid we can all write Mayday Parade off as a part of it. What promise they showed on Lesson—and believe me, they showed plenty—they have obliterated with Anywhere But Here.

When it comes to the current state of the band, Anywhere But Here could not possibly be any more appropriately named.

Recommended If You LikeAll Time Low’s Nothing Personal (but a lot worse); Boys Like Girls; We the Kings; New Found Glory’s Sticks and Stones; mediocre, sometimes painful, commercially marketable pop-punk; heartbreak expressed sans eloquence and variety.


Mayday Parade isDerek Sanders – lead vocals, keyboard
Jeremy Lenzo – bass guitar, vocals
Alex Garcia – lead guitar
Brooks Betts – rhythm guitar
Jake Bundrick – drums, percussion, backing vocals


Track Listing1. Kids in Love
2. Anywhere But Here
3. The Silence
4. Still Breathing
5. Bruised and Scarred
6. If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yeat
7. Save Your Heart
8. Get Up
9. Center of Attention
10. I Swear This Time I Mean It
11. The End


Check out Mayday Parade on Myspace.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 21
03:13 PM on 11/03/09
#2
Chris Collum
Offline
User Info.
Chris Collum's Avatar
This sums up my thoughts on a very disappointing sophomore effort from these guys.
08:10 PM on 11/03/09
#3
opalfine
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
opalfine's Avatar
Great review, you justified your points appropriately and convincingly.
I've enjoyed a few Mayday Parade songs in the past, but I really don't think this album is even worth downloading considering this review, and the quality of most of their music.
07:21 PM on 11/06/09
#4
Formatfun
Format, The, Format, The
Offline
User Info.
Formatfun's Avatar
Never liked this band a whole lot, but this album was worse than the last.
10:57 PM on 11/06/09
#5
fadedmemories
You'd be good for me
Offline
User Info.
fadedmemories's Avatar
Even if this is a step back from them, I still think there are a few killer tracks on this album. I'm curious as to how good album #3 will be.
11:50 PM on 11/06/09
#6
tipoftheiceberg
son of the silent age
Offline
User Info.
tipoftheiceberg's Avatar
love the RIYL
and i agree with the review ALMOST completely. i found this album grew on me
12:23 PM on 11/07/09
#7
Chris Collum
Offline
User Info.
Chris Collum's Avatar
love the RIYL
and i agree with the review ALMOST completely. i found this album grew on me
Yeah I hafta admit singing along to 'Kids in Love' about a week after I wrote this...but apart from the first two tracks and'The End', my opinion still stands on this one.
12:27 PM on 11/07/09
#8
Chris Collum
Offline
User Info.
Chris Collum's Avatar
Great review, you justified your points appropriately and convincingly.
I've enjoyed a few Mayday Parade songs in the past, but I really don't think this album is even worth downloading considering this review, and the quality of most of their music.
Thanks!
Yeah, don't bother with it.
01:12 PM on 11/07/09
#9
denissuxx
.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
ouch
03:01 PM on 11/07/09
Chris Collum
Offline
User Info.
Chris Collum's Avatar
Have you heard the album?
03:12 PM on 11/07/09
denissuxx
.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Have you heard the album?
Yes, and I agree with you fully
07:35 PM on 11/07/09
Chris Collum
Offline
User Info.
Chris Collum's Avatar
Yes, and I agree with you fully
Okay...Yeah it is harsh, but not unnecessarily so.
04:24 AM on 11/08/09
denissuxx
.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Okay...Yeah it is harsh, but not unnecessarily so.
Backed. Although it has some redeeming features, I'd probably have written a similar review
06:48 AM on 11/09/09
codyWHRR
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
codyWHRR's Avatar
Good, but not the best Album
11:43 PM on 11/14/09
Andi4me
Happy Days :D
Offline
User Info.
Andi4me's Avatar
This is upsetting I loved the first album... and I don't want to say you are right but... Damn!! I'll just say it's not as good as the last one. Sucks though I really wanted to believe they could get by without what's his name.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm