Review: Mayday Parade – Black Lines

Artist: Mayday Parade
Album: Black Lines
Rating: 8/10

FL’s Mayday Parade is a band that should need no introduction. Since their inception in 2005, they’ve created some of the most emotional, bold and heartfelt music of their era. With staples such as “Jamie All Over,” “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead” and the emo anthem “Miserable At Best,” from their debut album A Lesson In Romantics they quickly began to gain national notoriety. However, shortly after the album was completed, original vocalist Jason Lancaster left due to personal reasons, later forming Go Radio. Since that point, new vocalist Derek Sanders has proven to the world that he was made for this band. Starting with 2009’s Anywhere But Here and progressing through 2 more full-length albums and an EP to get to this point. In 5 days, the band will release their 5th studio album, Black Lines and it shows a completely new side from start to finish! Beginning with the release of the lead single, “Keep In Mind, Transmogrification is a New Technology,” they’ve begun to show that they’re far more than just your average rock band.

What was most surprising to fans, myself included, was that they decided to head in a heavier direction in the form of “One of Them Will Destroy the Other” which features Real Friends vocalist, Dan Lambton. This track has a gritty punk edge to it, something the band has never done and therefore, they’ve received a lot of hate for. Honestly, though, the fact that this track is so different is what I love most about it. Put together two of the most emotion-invoking vocalists on the Fearless Records roster and you’ve got a recipe for success. You can check out the video for that track below.

One of my favorite tracks on the album, despite how melancholy it is, is “Letting Go.” It touches on the struggles with letting someone go after a long-term relationship. Sanders vocals convey a deep sense of sadness, really pulling you into the emotional quality of this track. While the acoustics do play a big part in the track, when it builds up and the band comes in, it hits you like a freight train. This is designed for any of those who are struggling/have struggled/will be struggling with this issue and is sure to bring some tears to your eyes. The band, as a whole, is so connected throughout.

“Keep In Mind, Transmogrification is a New Technology” was the first taste we heard of this record and it shows Mayday at their best. This track is emotional, heavy and beautiful all at one time. “I am selfish when I need you, I am the blistering side of the wall in the back of your room, I am the envy of what you’re afraid to write and that’s fine” Sanders sings with a sense of pride in his anguish. This track touches on the struggles of a being in a one-sided relationship. You give your all, it’s never enough but you can feel the love in the other person towards you. You have to learn to walk away before it comes too much for you. “You lack the courage and the guts of a hero, even when they’re on your side.” Sanders speaks of the fear that one feels in this situation, you love that person so much but you know that letting go is the best option at this point. Keep your head up, do what you have to do and let those around you pick you back up when you crash down.

There are surprises around every corner on this album, whether it be a heavier sound, that unforgettable emotional quality they so expertly convey or the occasional guitar solo. Black Lines is one of the best works of art that Mayday Parade has created in awhile, that being said, it’s not absolutely perfect. It has a sense of nostalgia to it but it feels repetitive in some parts and that gives it the sense of being boring. It may not catch you the way you expect it to within the first listen but when it does, you’ll get it for what it is. I can’t say it’s album of the year material for this writer but it’s certainly a solid album, regardless of it’s flaws. Be sure to pick up your copy of Black Lines on October 9th via Fearless Records and draw your own conclusions!

Pre-Order Black Lines
iTunes | MerchNow

“One of Them Will Destroy the Other (feat. Dan Lambton)” (Official Music Video)

Mayday Parade is:
Derek Sanders – Vox
Jeremy Lenzo – Bass/Vox
Alex Garcia – Guitar
Brooks Betts- Guitar
Jake Bundrick – Drums/Vox