Mayday Parade – Mayday Parade
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Record Label: ILG/Fearless/MDP
Anytime a band self-titles an album, it feels like said is trying to make a statement. No frills, no bells & whistles, just what the band does best. And it definitely sounds like what Mayday Parade is trying to accomplish on their third full-length. Their major label debut, 2009's Anywhere But Here, turned out to be an album many fans wanted anywhere but in their ears. Honestly, Mayday fans just really wanted the band to go back to the sound that initially caught their ear - their 2007 debut A Lesson In Romantics – a return to emotionally-charged dual vocals backed by energetic pop-punk. After listening to the self-titled album just once, you can instantly tell that Mayday Parade listened. They dropped the co-writers and all outside influences that littered their major label debut, beefed up the back and forth vocals between Derek Sanders, drummer Jake Bundrick, and bassist Jeremy Lenzo, and released an album that will win back a lot of fans.
Opening track and first single “Oh Well, Oh Well” is an immediately return to form, beginning with a delicate piano intro before exploding into a full-on pop-punk attack. “No Heroes Allowed” starts with kind of a hokey intro but quickly redeems itself with a classic Mayday chorus, as Sanders' vocals pace the song perfectly. Really, a lot of Mayday Parade is the band getting back to what they do best – solid pop-rock buoyed by massive hooks (“When You See My Friends,” “Call Me Hopeless, Not Romantic,” and “A Shot Across The Bow” are prime examples). While Anywhere But Here lacked the energy of the debut, Mayday Parade makes sure that that isn't an issue this time around, as the rousing “Priceless” and “I'd Rather Make Mistakes Than Make Nothing Again” operate at breakneck speed and are likely to be staples during the band's fall tour.
But you can also hear how the band learned from the mistakes on Anywhere But Here and how they improved on it. Mayday Parade didn't completely give up on those mid-tempo and ballad-like tracks, and while they aren't perfect by any means, they play up the band's strengths a lot more. The Southern-tinged “You're Dead Wrong” doesn't necessarily work for me, but I cannot deny that it's a perfect fit for radio. The piano-led and string-laden “Stay” serves up quite the emotional highpoint of the album, with Sanders turning in his best vocal performance on the record here. Mayday Parade closes with “Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven't Ended Yet,” which begins just with a tinge of Jimmy Eat World before transforming into something reminiscent of My Chemical Romance's “Welcome to the Black Parade.” Despite the odd transition, Sanders owns it vocally, as he is aided by some quality riffing from Alex Garcia.
If Mayday Parade proves anything at all, it's that Anywhere But Here was nothing but a blip on the radar. While the album doesn't offer anything new or stimulating to the genre, the band's knack for writing catchy choruses is back, as this release will certainly reintroduce the band back into the conversation of quality pop-rock bands.
FINALLY! haha thought this would never go up. Great review. *obligatory I don't like the score* but the review itself is spot on and the score doesn't matter so meh. Overall it's a great release. I'm just glad they ditched the cowriters and wrote songs they actually believe in.
A Shot Across The Bow is ridiculously catchy, I can't get it out of my head! Great review, I'm glad you didn't mention A Lesson In Romantics too much, while they will never make an album as great as that one they are still capable of churning out great pop rock.
I can't say I agree with much of anything here. The first five times I tried to listen to this album, I was unable to finish it all the way through. Maybe I'm just too used to listening to punk bands all day, but everything about this feels forced and pre-planned. There is seemingly no tangible passion or creative edge. The songs are so predictable - like they have three pre-made templates on types of songs they can write and they choose one and trace it and you get a song just like all the other ones in that style. I found myself, during my very first listening, trying to predict what kind of song would come up next in the tracklisting. Just a boring record to me and I can't imagine listening to this type of music at all anymore.
On the other hand, I revisited their first album on Spotify a while back and enjoyed it immensely. I think Jason was the main force behind this group, but sadly, I didn't enjoy the Go Radio album either. They split up, and now they each write worse songs than they used to when they were the same band. We all lose!