Album Review: Mayday Parade – Black Lines

Mayday Parade is a fairly prominent name in the rock scene today. Back in 2005 the band was formed after the amalgamation of two separate groups. Kid Named Chicago provided vocalist Jason Lancaster, guitarist Alex Garcia, and drummer Jake Bundrick. The second group, Defining Moment, offered up vocalist Derek Sanders, guitarist Brooks Betts, and bassist Jeremy Lenzo. The partnered bands went into the studio to record what would be their debut EP, entitled Tales Told By Dead Friends (released June 13, 2006), still undecided on their new moniker. It wasn’t until the recording process of this EP they settled on Mayday Parade. After the release of the EP, Fearless Records took notice of Mayday and penned a deal with the promising group. It was through Fearless they would release their debut album, A Lesson In Romantics. It was during this process that vocalist/guitarist Jason Lancaster left the group, leaving the lineup we all know today.

Through their career Mayday’s sound has been labeled as pop punk or pop rock. The pop punk was more prominent on earlier releases such as A Lesson in Romantics, and Anywhere But Here. Their self-titled album and 4th studio album Monsters in the Closet started to bring a more pop influenced rock element into the bands overall sound. Monster in the Closet had a healthy dose of both genres resulting in their best release to date. The two singles off the record, “Ghosts” and “Girls” caught the attention of the masses aiding in its first week sales of over 30,000 copies. In 2014 Mayday announced they would be going back into the studio to record their fifth studio album with producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Straylight Run…) On July 17, 2015 they released the title, Black Lines, and the release date of October 9, 2015.

“This in my humble opinion is their best record yet, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in that notion.”

This album brings a much more alternative rock feel to the table. The pop and pop punk elements that all have come to love are not lost, but take more of a background on this release. The Opening track “One of Them Will Destroy the Other” comes in swift and hard with an edgier guitar and singer Derek Sanders almost screaming his way in with a force rarely heard on previous records. Right away you’re taken to a grittier Mayday that’s almost reminiscent of 90’s alternative rock. Track two “Just Out of Reach” is introduced with some of the classic Mayday sound most are akin too, but again you can’t help but feel a bit more teeth throughout. Songs like “Hollow” and “All on Me” have an almost grungy rock sound hinting a likeness to an opening of a song off Bush’s 1994 album Sixteen Stone. The group still dolls out the heart wrenching tear jerkers with “Letting Go” (Which if you’re going through a tough relationship, or have someone you miss dearly then a tear or two shall be shed), and “Narrow” where the guitars coupled with Derek’s voice instill a lump of melancholy in your heart. I think one song that will become the favorite of many (not only for the incredible title, for those who understand the reference) will be “Keep In Mind, Transmorgrification Is A New Technology“. This song incorporates so much of what everyone loves with heartfelt yet longing lyrics and an overall poppy feel, yet with a touch of that new alternative edge.

Mayday Parade have been through the loss of a band member, multiple label changes, and if their lyrics reflect what their sharing with the world, then that is only a couple of the trials and tribulations they’ve all experienced. It has all paid off (and more) with the release of Black Lines. This in my humble opinion is their best record yet, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in that notion.

Mayday Parade – One Of Them Will Destroy The Other (Feat. Dan Lambton) (Official Music Video)

ITUNES: New song “One Of Them Will Destroy The Other (Feat. Dan Lambton)” is available now. Taken from the new album ‘Black Lines’ available now.

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