Review Summary: The Academy Isn't...
For the “next big thing” up-and-coming pop punk band the story typically follows three basic steps: band in high school makes some safe, catchy songs and uploads them onto myspace/purevolume; band gets huge following of teens; band graduates high school, signs a record label, and tours. Sound familiar? Well let’s just say that The Maine’s background information isn’t the only plain and generic thing about them. The five piece Arizona natives have generated quite the buzz with their safe, smooth, and shallow blend of pop punk. After all with some great haircuts, a brightly colored myspace page, and ridiculously polished sound complete with a cutesy vocal tone, what’s not to love about The Maine? Following a spin of their Fearless full length, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
, the question becomes, what is to like about The Maine?
They certainly are not the first band to bring absolutely nothing new to a genre that has become infamous for copy-cat acts. The record comes stocked with far too smooth and slickly produced tunes lacking any sort of edge. A mix of simple progressions, acoustic/electric guitar tones, sprinkles of piano and a cutesy toned vocalist makes up The Maine’s typical bag of goodies. Its sugary sweet yet it goes down smooth and based off of the aforementioned descriptions could easily be confused with any number of bands. Perhaps an All-American Rejects without the huge choruses, a less witty Cute Is What We Aim For, or even The Academy Is without the spunk that makes them a fun listen. Regardless of the comparison(s), The Maine is far weaker than the majority of their competition. Even despite their easy to digest sound, nothing seems to stick in memory.
There interlines the group’s main issue: songwriting. The group sure knows how to form a basic song and they have a general sound/formula put on repeat for 12 tracks. The result: a monotonous, faux-clever record which fails to go anywhere. Topics of young loves and dream girls are recycled and repeated throughout the record. One syllable rhymes compliment the slum of tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-witty lyrics which would get the group cut from Pete Wentz’s C-list of clients. And despite all of these criticisms, The Maine’s bigger flaw is that they are just plain boring. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
is a dominantly lifeless collection of songs which blend together before the record is half old. While the group is at a young and impressionable age, the thought of progression just really doesn’t seem plausible in the future. They are in a comfort zone and lack any sort of talent or creativity to stray from it. When a group in this situation makes a record as dull and as uninspired as The Maine’s latest work, it’s only a matter of time before their career crumbles. The Maine is yesterday’s news; they just haven’t received the memo yet.