Mayday Parade Storms the Music Scene with Black Lines

Stephanie Conlon

Since the first hints of recording were planted back in July, Mayday Parade fans have been anxiously awaiting the follow up to the band’s first top ten album Monsters In The Closet, which dropped back in 2013. As the Tallahassee quintet’s fifth studio album, it was a fair guess to assume that Black Lines would remain true to the power/punk pop genre that listeners know and love.

Mayday Parade (Photo obtained via Facebook)
Mayday Parade
(Photo obtained via Facebook)

Wrong. Perhaps it was the pressure of keeping fans interested, but Black Lines is a beast all its own from the very first chord on the opening track and album single “One of Them Will Destroy the Other.” This track, featuring Dan Lambton from the band Real Friends, defines the journey that the album aims to drag the listener though from square one through singer Derek Sanders’s merciless vocal delivery and lyrical opening “I don’t know man, I think I’m starting to feel…”

Many of the songs on this album would not even be identifiable as Mayday Parade if it were not for a few bars of pop infusion or a strategically placed punchy chorus. It is no wonder Mayday Parade solicited the help of Mike Sapone, known for his work with bands like Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, to produce the grittier and heavier album.

Drawing inspiration from bands like Anberlin, Jimmy Eat World, and even Balance and Composure at times, especially in “Underneath The Tide,” there is nothing about this record that is predictable. Until now, no one even knew that Mayday Parade was even capable of making this kind of sound.

The balance of old and new in the record is phenomenal with songs like “Keep in Mind, Transmogrification Is a New Technology” to cater to fans who did not welcome the risky shift in style.

Reflecting back on the band’s previous albums full of heartfelt ballads and passionate declarations of teenage love, Black Lines is exactly the daring move that they needed to break back into the genre. This record is the re-birth of Mayday Parade.