Mayday Parade first appeared on the scene back in 2007 when they released ‘A Lesson In New Romantics’ They quickly gained a following within the pop-rock community yet still managed to have their own distinctive sound. Their second release ‘Anywhere But Here’ came two years later however received mixed reviews from critics noting that the introduction of outside writers did not work in the bands favor. With this in mind they went on to release their self titled album, again two years later, with no outside help and it proved to be their most successful album yet. They have now returned, after another two years, with ‘Monsters In The Closet’ (We’re noticing pattern here)
The bands general sound has hardly altered but then they have found a formula that works so why change it.
The main thing to note is the musicianship has become slightly more complex. The guitars provided by Brooks Betts and Alex Garcia for example aren’t the boring riffs found in most pop-rock they have become more complex, more intricate. This is surely what will set this album apart from every other pop-rock band out there in what is now a very over-saturated market.
Derek Sanders distinctive voice dominates the album, opening with a track called ‘Ghosts’ beginning with Sanders singing a cappella with drummer Jake Bundrick providing backup vocals. Some had hoped Jake would get a track where he can showcase his vocal abilities, unfortunately that is yet to happen. This slow start is quickly moved up a notch when Jake’s drumming comes into play.
There are many classic Mayday Parade songs on this album including ‘Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About’ the call-and-return vocals we have grown to expect and some clever lyrics.
What Mayday Parade do best is their ballads and this album is no exception, for example ‘Even Robots Need Blankets’ is a light piano ballad (reminiscent of ‘Miserable At Best’) but it has a slight twist, the melancholy lyrics are missing. Instead it is a light-hearted love song that will make you feel all warm inside and make your heart melt just a little. ‘Hold Onto Me’ showcases Sanders vocal abilities and growing talent as a front man perfectly. Beginning delicately almost like a lullaby but ending with powerful projection few would be able to manage.
One of the stand out tracks is ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ and is the only track on the album to offer a slight change of direction from the sound they are so well know for. It has hints of pop-punk mixed among the pop-rock, a few more tracks like this would have been a nice addition to the album. ‘Monsters In The Closet’ is not without the broken-hearted lyrics though, ‘The Torment Of Existence Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing’ is full of them, these are juxtaposed with a bright key and some lighthearted “La-La-La-Da-Da’s”.
Overall we would recommend this album to anyone that likes the bands earlier releases, it would have been nice to see them experiment a little more with their sound but its hard not to love Mayday Parade and this is an album that they should be proud of.
Written by: Samantha Stott