It’s hard to fault Mayday Parade for doing what they do – even if you feel like you’ve heard it before. The Tallahassee pop rock outfit has made a name for themselves over the course of their career with the catchy melodies, punchy guitars, and snarky lyrics that define the genre they are a part of. What is clear, however, is that the band does it better than just about all of their contemporaries and has proved to be far more than a flash in the pop-punk pan.
If you’re not listening closely, you might be willing to write off their latest release, Monsters in the Closet, as formulaic. Indeed, it is certainly a Mayday Parade album, but the band is expanding in just the right ways without losing their identity (or the fan base that supports them). To call it safe or unimaginative would be to ignore the obvious talent the band’s members possess and the obvious passion they have for creating the best Mayday Parade album possible.
Throughout the album, it’s easy to spot the typical Mayday moments, but don’t miss the parts that make this album special: The Queen-esque intro to lead single “Ghosts”, the crunchy rock infused “Last Night for a Table for Two”, or the swirling guitars of “Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About”. For as many expected moments as there are on “Monsters in the Closet”, there are just as many delightful surprises.
Not surprising though, is the band creating sugary, catchy hooks that stay stuck in your head for days. Take a listen to “Girls” or “Sorry, Not Sorry” to get your fix of Derek Sander’s attractive melodies and turn of phrase. Even better is Sanders’ performance on “Hold Onto Me” – a soft ballad that is pushed over the top with his pleading, passionate vocals and is instantly one of the best tracks in the Mayday Parade canon.
Fans of Mayday Parade rejoiced with the release of 2011’s self-titled record, which was supposedly a return to form. Instead, that record was just another step forward for a band that seeks to perfect its craft and carve its own niche in an oversaturated genre. If “Monsters in the Closet” is any proof, Mayday Parade could very well be around for a while and may outlast the majority of their peers. Call it unoriginal or formulaic if you wish – Mayday Parade has a clear sense of direction and appears to know exactly where they’re going.
by Kiel Hauck
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.