Mayday Parade
Mayday Parade


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
October 10th, 2011 | 113 replies | 24,739 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Using every device imaginable to come up with a crowd-pleasing winner.

On a recent episode of reality television series ‘Survivor’, an experienced contestant privately laid out his keys to successfully playing the game. One such statement went along the lines of “efficiently realizing when you are being played and swiftly adapting”. The moral of the advice was that the more time you waste worrying over whether or not your mind is being messed with, is less time you can spend controlling – and enjoying – the important things yourself. While the link to Mayday Parade’s self-titled third LP may initially seem tenuous, it pays not to get too distracted by the fact that the Floridian quintet use every device imaginable to accomplish their aspiration… Which, in this case, is the delivery of an album which can realistically lay claim to approaching the quality of the outfit’s much-loved debut ‘A Lesson In Romantics’.

One need look no further as to the extent to which the band will go than on opener and lead single ‘Oh Well, Oh Well’. Beginning slowly with piano, strings and Derek Sanders’ lovelorn vocals, it is just a matter of time until the full band kicks in. We all know it, since the chances of a Mayday Parade release beginning with a genuine ballad is about as likely as them using blast beats. Once the predictable is accepted, it can be fully enjoyed for its effectiveness… As can the subsequent catchy chorus, “woh woh” filled bridge and melodic gang vocal outro. Successor ‘No Heroes Allowed’ then throws in a fully formed guitar solo and some dual vocals. This latter device is used to good effect in approximately half the tracks here (courtesy of a rotation policy between drummer Jake Bundrick and bass player Jeremy Lenzo), with second single ‘When You See My Friends’ sure to have many listeners doing a double-take to see if Jason Lancaster has returned to the band.

Of course, it would not be a Mayday Parade album without a heartfelt ballad or three, and fans are sure to be pleased with the likes of ‘Stay’, ‘Everything’s An Illusion’ and ‘Without the Bitter, The Sweet Isn’t As Sweet’... Even if they don’t quite dig as deep as the band’s seminal piece ‘Miserable At Best’. As with all other tracks here, the lyrics will not have supreme wordsmiths shaking in their boots, but they are relatable to their target audience, while containing a remarkable fluidity which enhances their natural feel. Also assisting in this regard is the ever-improving vocals of Sanders, who does a nice job of combining power and emotion throughout, especially on the soaring ‘Call Me Hopeless, But Not Romantic’.

Elsewhere, the quintet’s pop-punk roots are rediscovered on catchy up-tempo rockers such as ‘Priceless’ and ‘A Shot Across the Bow’, while flourishes of acoustic guitar, keys and strings make frequent appearances in a manner which is anything but haphazard. In fact, the cohesiveness of this LP is undeniably one of its strengths, with acoustic outros leading into acoustic intros, seamless thematical connections between neighboring tracks and wise song placement in terms of both quality and diversity. It is all then capped off brilliantly by near-epic closer ‘Happy Endings are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet’, which brings every piece of the puzzle together in glorious fashion.

While the choruses here are all made for being easily recited en masse, they are strangely not as instantly infectious as some of the band’s past work. Promisingly, this is more a sign of improved song-craft which gives this album greater replay value than its predecessor ‘Anywhere But Here’. It is also a musically accomplished release, with proficient drums often being mixed to the fore, and impressive guitars regularly spearheading passages. Above all, this self-titled LP is as consistent an album as you are likely to hear this year, since there is not one piece of filler evident. It may not quite reach the status of the band’s debut LP, nor will it win any awards for originality or innovation, but once you realize the objective of ‘Mayday Parade’ and the techniques which the band will inevitably use to achieve their goals, then it can be enjoyed for what it is… A crowd-pleasing winner.

Recommended Tracks: Oh Well Oh Well, Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven't Ended Yet, Priceless & Call Me Hopeless But Not Romantic.



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user ratings (243)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Tim Dodderidge (3.5)
Mayday Parade did what THEY wanted to do on this album, and it worked....

Boris Canzano (4.5)
Mayday Parade gave themselves a Lesson In Romantics....

Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (2)
Emotionally succeeding to the extent that it makes me want to kill myself....

Josh Howe (4.5)
Mayday Parade write a fantastic album without Jason Lancaster....


Comments:Add a Comment 
joshieboy12345
October 10th 2011


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review Davey, as per usual, couldn't agree more, although i am a pretty big fan boy of this band been listening to them since ALIR came out, but this is a really good return to form for them, because Anywhere But Here was terrible.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Josh.

Apologies to all for the delay in getting this out. And hopefully that strange old link/analogy at the beginning makes some kind of sense.

joshieboy12345
October 10th 2011


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

No problem, i did my first review on this album, been told it was shit so re-edited it and submitted it again, but once again this album is great and i will definitely be listening to this for a while.

taylormemer
October 10th 2011


4917 Comments


One question must be asked - why is Survivor still running?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta start somewhere Josh.

Good question Jake. Are they closing in on 100 seasons now? From that bit that I saw, they are definitely recycling contestants.

Spare
October 10th 2011


5302 Comments


self titled albums that aren't debut albums are the worst idea ever. also band kinda sucks wang but whatevs. sup davey.

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes

Knott-
Emeritus
October 10th 2011


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice write-up Davey. I pretty much agree, although I think for me it's a 3.5 (despite my current rating) - I also think it serves as evidence that the band won't actually hit the heights of ALIR again even if they do improve. They lack too much of something without Lancaster. I'll be writing about this at some point somewhere.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2011


10190 Comments


OMG DaveyBoy watches Survivor too.
I love Coach to death... Am I strange?

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Tikicobra
October 10th 2011


573 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

BUT IT'S SO BAD.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2011


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I liked the review, apart from:

"It may not quite reach the status of the band’s debut LP, nor will it win any awards for originality or innovation, but once you realize the objective of ‘Mayday Parade’ and the techniques which the band will inevitably use to achieve their goals, then it can be enjoyed for what it is…"

I just don't get the mentality of just ignoring a blatant flaw because "that's just the way it is". Maybe I'm weird, but music that's the same as stuff I've heard a million times before is, well, boring.

Also, this site hates Nickleback, right? How's their form of crowd pleasing any different?

I iz confused.

D41V30N
October 10th 2011


949 Comments


"Maybe I'm weird, but music that's the same as stuff I've heard a million times before is, well, boring."
Haha XD. Yeah. Jason Lancaster's vocals added some variety to Mayday Parada's songs and separated it from your regular punk rock bands. "Anywhere But Here", the album with Jason, was freakin' typical and TERRIBLE! But because of the review, I think I'll try it :3.

Tempertemperature
October 10th 2011


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I liked the review, apart from:

"It may not quite reach the status of the band’s debut LP, nor will it win any awards for originality or innovation, but once you realize the objective of ‘Mayday Parade’ and the techniques which the band will inevitably use to achieve their goals, then it can be enjoyed for what it is…"

"I just don't get the mentality of just ignoring a blatant flaw because "that's just the way it is". Maybe I'm weird, but music that's the same as stuff I've heard a million times before is, well, boring.

Also, this site hates Nickleback, right? How's their form of crowd pleasing any different?

I iz confused."

Not every band tries to make the next Kid A, and Mayday Parade does what they do very well

snerefedsav
October 10th 2011


825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good write up. this will never touch a lesson in romantics for me, but this is miles ahead of what they regressed to in anywhere but here. pretty decent album and probably will grow on me after more listens

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sup Spare. I've never really put much thought into your self-titled argument. One day I might. Right now, I'm neutral.

Thanks Adam. Agree that they will not match their debut. This was a 3.5 on 1st listen, but I'm a sucker for no filler, even if that sometimes diminishes variety.

Coach, OS94? Isn't he on SprtsCenter now? ;-)

Never said to ignore it Stranger... Just to not dwell on it. As for your "music that's the same as stuff I've heard a million times before..." comment, I think you would be in the majority around here on that. It personally doesn't bother me as I don't think there are as many original bands out there that your die-hard indie fan would have you believe.

On Nickelback, I agree to a point... I have never really gone through their discog tbh, but I like their breakthrough album. Where they rub me the wrong way is that I find Kroeger's lyrics sexist & near offensive.

There is no doubt Lancaster added something different to this band.

It will be interesting to see how this album grows. I think it will age well, as consistent albums tend to have a few hidden gems & as I said in the review, I wouldn't say that many of these choruses are instantly infectious.

JaySeanFenris
October 10th 2011


140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I think that the fact they decided to leave both Fearless and Atlantic to join an independent label
shows that they what they're aiming most for is to get back the fans that they may have lost or
disappointed with their last album, rather than trying to please everybody (although, of course
catching new fans is always a goal).

Still thinking about reviewing this...maybe sometime later. Probably not on this site too.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Possibly. I'm not one to read too much into label switches, etc... I know it plays a part, but it's usually too difficult to make out the BS from the truth. Kinda like politics really.

Awesomesauce
October 11th 2011


1084 Comments


I dunno about you sometimes, Davey.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am an enigma.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2011


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There are definitely original bands around though. I mean just sticking with ones I've reviewed here, I Monster and The Romanovs couldn't really be any more individual.

I'm still the only one to have rated The Romanovs, though.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, they most definitely exist... But that doesn't mean they will be for everyone.



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