Our favourite post-noughties emo band Mayday Parade usually specialise in making listeners feel anything between inexplicably happy and wanting to cry in a corner with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, like master puppeteers forever pulling on our heart-strings. With their latest album ‘Black Lines’, the Tallahassee natives have become a little less gut-wrenching and a little more fist-pumping.
Reverberating throughout the album is a surge of heaviness that we’ve never heard from this band before. From the moment ‘Black Lines’ opens, it’s clear that, much like British rockers You Me At Six, Mayday Parade have grown up from the lovable pop-punk scamps they once were into serious brooders with a much more mature feel. The darker, deeper tone to this album shows a side of this band that we’ve never seen before and, although we know they still pour their hearts into their music, it’s now masked by epic, anthemic alternative rock.
While the harsh obscurity of this new, dark sound is undeniable in songs like ‘One Of Them Will Destroy The Other’, ‘Hollow’, and ‘Let’s Be Honest’, we’re relieved to hear that the old emotional rollercoaster that we so adore in this band is still going strong. ‘Letting Go’ is a melancholy acoustic number that takes us right back to the ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ days, while ‘Narrow’ has the classic ’00s emo sound that they have always been comfortable creating, and ‘One Of Us’ highlights those distinctive Mayday Parade vocals that make their songs hit you right where it hurts (emotionally, of course).
We can’t fault the band for heading in a new direction, especially considering how hot the underground alternative vibe is right now, and given that they released their emo-meets-pop-punk debut almost ten years ago now. Mayday Parade are growing up, but thank God they haven’t outgrown us just yet.
Written by Sam Lawrie (@SamLawrie)