Review Summary: Mayday Parade, although not bringing much new material to the table, provides a solid lineup of 6 tracks. Despite the fact that the band is generally unheard of and has no reputation to speak of, the EP, Tales Told By Dead Friends, offers a clean-cut, we1 of 2 thought this review was well written
For those of you who had the opportunity to attend this years Warped Tour, you may have been lucky enough to have met a member of Mayday Parade. I myself was approached by a skinny, somewhat pasty man in a plaid shirt while I was making my way back to the car. My first reaction told me that I was about to speak to yet another pitiful musician trying to sell some generic album. And when I put on the headphones this man had so kindly offered, what came out was somewhat generic. But at the same time, the music I was hearing seemed to hold more talent and passion than anything I had heard all day (Excluding the live performances, obviously). I instantly paid $5 for this CD and walked away. I now believe that that may have been the best spent $5 in my life.
Mayday Parade, a relatively new band hailing from Tallahassee, Fl, offer an EP packed with the most emotion, talent, and passion shown in an emo band since Cute Without The E hit the radio. In the 27 minutes that Tales Told By Dead Friends offers, not one is wasted. With their catchy melodic riffs and wailing threefold vocalist, Mayday Parade does not stray far from the standard emo/ pop-punk formula, nor does it need to. Before I get into a more in-depth analysis of this album, Mayday Parade is:
Derek Sanders - Vocals
Jason Lancaster - Guitar/Vocals
Jeremy Lenzo - Bass/Vocals
Alex Garcia - Guitar
Brooks Betts- Guitar
Jake Bundrick – Drums
I will go through all 6 tracks, and then offer a pro/con section at the end.
Just Say Your Not Into It
My personal favorite on the album, Just Say Your Not Into It lays the framework for the rest of the album. Starting with a pretty standard chord progression and guitar riff, the first lyrics of the song can be heard in the trademark voice of Derek Sanders.
“In a show of hands, who has said these words before?
And a show of hearts on the floor, who has ever meant them more?”
These words pave the way for what a majority of the lyrics on this EP will be about, romance. One of the key points of this track is how the different interments are layered over each other, and how no one musician dominates the song. The way each part complements each other in the piece creates a calm, smooth feeling to the song. The drumming is also an enjoyable part of this tune, as it complements the vocals very nicely through out the length of the song.
When I Get Home, You’re So Dead
Starting with a vocal/acoustic intro, this song turns out to be a blander than anything else on the record. Although the vocals on this song can be catchy and may even stick in your head for hours on end, the playing itself becomes repetitive and boring to listen to. Regardless, the song is still a solid, enjoyable track.
One Man Drinking Games
After the first two tracks get your foot tapping and you interest level high, One Man Drinking Games brings the excitement level down a notch. In no way, however, is this bad. The vocals, once again, are the stronger side of the song, starting soft and building up to a point where you can sense the emotion flowing from Sander’s mouth. The musicianship on this track is mediocre at best, but doesn’t need to be any better for this track to be enjoyable.
This song picks the pace right back up with a somewhat annoying guitar intro that leads into possibly the worst song on the EP. This may be due to the fact that the vocals, which are a driving force on this album, seem to hit a low on this song. This song has its moments, but doesn’t quite keep up to par with the rest of the album. The track is in no respects bad but it does break the momentum of the album somewhat.
Three Cheers For Five Years
What ground Mayday Parade lost in Your Song, it gains back with Three Cheers For Five Years. This song, once again, features catchy, flowing lyrics accompanied by another blend of guitar, bass, and drums that seems to be layered perfectly, with one part fitting right over the next. However, this song seems to overplay on interludes in the song. There are several sections where all instruments drop out, leaving only the vocals remaining. The guitar also shares in more than a few brief periods where only it can be heard. Although these interludes match they style of the band very well, they are far too numerous on this track. A great track overall, however.
The Last Something That Meant Anything
The EP ends with somewhat slower track. The vocals maintain the same quality that they have throughout the album. This song seems to go from slow to slower; lulling the listener into a mellow state before the CD ends. With the addition of a piano and the absence of the bass and drums on about half the song, this track is unique in its own sense compared to the rest of the album. It’s obviously a great finish to a great album.
+ Singer’s voice can be considered above average, even compared to some of the big names in music.
+ Instruments all have unique parts, but the different parts are layered well over each other.
+ Production is well done. The sound is very defined and you can hear each individual instrument at almost any given time.
+ The song writing was good. Although the lyrics may be on a sorely overused topic, I think this band has an art for putting together catchy, melodic, and complex songs.
- Mayday Parade doesn’t differ much from other bands of the same genre.
- Lyrical content: Mayday Parade has girl problems…… WE GET IT!!!
This EP is only available for purchase in select stores for those of you interested in purchasing it. However, it is available on iTunes. (The song order seems to be off on iTunes, however.)