For Fans Of
After numerous US + UK tours, and a few international dates with bands such as All Time Low and Paramore, it couldn’t be more evident that Mayday Parade’s debut album “A Lesson In Romantics” (2007) was a huge hit with the fans. However, with the controversially concealed departure of singer/songwriter Jason Lancaster in 2007, Mayday Parade have listeners struggling through their sophomore release “Anywhere But Here”. This release has had thousands of loyal Mayday fans squirming in anticipation, but unfortunately, does not produce the goods.
The most notable change to the bands style is the lack of vocal duo between Lancaster & Sanders. Without Lancaster’s vocal depth, the Mayday songs sound similar to any other pop-rock band going around, i.e. Boys Like Girls, All Time Low. Mayday seem to have taken the safe route, recreating an album that hundreds of pop-punk bands have written before them. The inability to continue experimentation with drum beats & guitar riffs that was shown on “A Lesson In Romantics” has brought this album down greatly. For a first time listener, ‘Anywhere But Here’ is a lot of fun, and is certainly an album to spin throughout the summer.
Lyrical simplicities are obvious from the opening track “Kids In Love”, and it becomes immediately clear that Mayday Parade have not continued along the path that “A Lesson In Romantics” had them going. The title track “Anywhere But Here” is a song that is certain to be a favourite amongst the fans, as Derek Sanders shows off his pipes in a gripping chorus exclusive to Mayday Parade. However, following the almost perfect chorus the band change from a good major key to a horrible breakdown-esque minor key, leaving listeners stunned at the transition this band seems to have gone through. The song closes strongly with a key change into the last chorus that is pulled off extremely well. The albums first single “The Silence” is certainly a radio-worthy pop-rock ballad, showing evidence of strong potential through strong vocal harmonies and guitar riffs. “The Silence” will certainly have the kids increasingly excited.
Unlike “A Lesson in Romantics” which, after the opening tracks, gets better and better with every song change, “Anywhere But Here” shows more of the same formula used by a band with extraordinary potential to do better. “Still Breathing” is a well put together song, but with the same acoustic-piano bridge as several other songs on the record, the song comes across as more of the same. “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?” shows strong influence from alternative bands such as ‘Acceptance’, but again, churns out a chorus very similar to the previous three tracks on record.
“Get Up” could have listeners confused as to what band they are listening to, as it shows very similar vocal patterns and melodies to numerous tracks on ‘Boys Like Girls’ debut self titled album. The melodic elements of each song on this release may cause listeners to think they are listening to the same song on repeat. Believe me, its hard to swallow this release after the musical brilliance that was “A Lesson in Romantics”.
It’s difficult to express exact feelings on this release. A good pop-punk album, but much less than what this quintet from Tallahassee, FL are capable of. There is no doubt that this album will be a hit with the fans, and many a track will show up at alternative clubs nation wide. Two or three probable single tracks, and eight or nine tracks that are the result of All Time Low & Boys Like Girls cloning experience. Whilst the release is not a bad one, it is certainly less impressive than expected.
Sticking to the safe formula has caused Mayday Parade to release an album that may turn away some old fans. ‘Anywhere But Here’ certainly leaves room for improvement.
1. Kids In Love
2. Anywhere But Here
3. The Silence
4. Still Breathing
5. Bruised and Scarred
6. If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?
7. Save Your Heart
8. Get Up
9. Center of Attention
10. I Swear This Time I Mean It
11. The End