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Album Review

Mayday Parade – Black Lines


The stark new influences are sure to divide opinion.

Label: Fearless Records
Released: 9th October 2015

Rating: ★★★

The fact Mayday Parade celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band while recording latest release ‘Black Lines’ says it all. Soaring the scene since 2005, the Warped Tour sweethearts freely admit to dabbling in more than their fair share of trends. Chirpy pop? Yes. Slamming punk? Yes. Heart-wrenching ballads? They’re Mayday Parade. It’s a given. But putting the Tallahassee outfit’s taste for a fanatic mosh pit and sulky, pillow-cry aside, their fifth studio-length is the heaviest yet.

Songs like ‘One Of Them Will Destroy You’ and ‘Let’s Be Honest’ are filled with punch. Plenty of it, at that. Forget about the five-piece’s Capri Sun equipped, overly polished pop punk. It’s a thing of the past. Instead, think gutsy riffs, aggressive snares and a feisty attitude that bids farewell to their Vans alumni; The Academy is…, Boys Like Girls, and The Maine, to name a few.

Of course, there are still elements, which die-hard fans of the band will recognise. Frontman Derek Saunders hasn’t quite ditched his knack for churning out a heartbreak song or two. Lead single, ‘Keep In Mind, Transmogrification Is A New Technology’ is armed with rich narratives that spit fire at the complicated webs of love and loss, whereas ‘Until You’re Big Enough’, takes note from the ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ era. Cue mellow breakdowns, slotted between layer and layer of emotion.

For a band that’s constantly recreated their sound, naturally the stark new influences are sure to divide opinion. Skeptical cynics will say they’ve lost their way, mostly in anthems like ‘All On Me’, which is so moody it could easily be found on a 2003 emo classic. Others will argue that this is what they’ve always done; cruise trend after trend. But whatever your standpoint, one things a given, Mayday Parade have again proved that this is a game of the survival of the fittest. Emma Matthews