For Fans Of
From the moment ‘Monsters In The Closet‘ opens with the a capella intro to ‘Ghosts,’ Mayday Parade make it clear they’ve put everything into this album. What follows on from the intro is an extension of Mayday Parade‘s signature sound, going on a ride that takes you through some astounding vocal harmonies and some of the best guitar work that we’ve ever seen from the band. And that’s just track one!
Mayday Parade are a band with a fairly distinct sound and it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to say that you could probably pick most of their songs as their own without having ever heard it before. What ‘Monsters In The Closet‘ does is takes that sound and perfects it. That’s not to say that it was bad beforehand. This is more of a refining what was already a strong sound into something better, and improving upon what was already pretty damn great.
The vocals, both in the back and forth between Derek Sanders and Jake Bundrick (and occasionally, for the first time, Jeremy Lenzo) and in the harmonies, are better than they’ve ever been throughout the band’s entire career. The guitar handiwork is taken to the next level, with lead guitarist Alex Garcia stepping things up further than anyone could have asked of him, particularly when he takes the spotlight for some incredibly memorable guitar solos. Lenzo and Bundrick also hold things together fantastically in the rhythm section on bass and drums respectively, creating a solid framework for the rest of the group to build upon.
In the genre of pop punk, it’s very easy for a band to release an album of tracks that all sound exactly the same, resulting in a 30-minute collection of 11 or 12 songs that just become a chore to listen to. This is a trap that Mayday Parade steer well clear of, delivering some songs that are built entirely off catchy hooks like ‘Girls‘ or ‘Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About,’ tracks built on sing-a-long sections that will thrive in a live context such as ‘The Torment of Existence Weighed Against The Horror of Nonbeing,’ or delivering softer, more emotionally driven tracks like ‘12 Through 15‘ or ‘Even Robots Need Blankets.’ The highlights of the full-length however, come in both the heaviest and lightest songs, ‘Last Night For a Table of Two,’ and ‘Hold Onto Me.’ The former thrives off an incredibly tight, heavy rhythm section, a blistering guitar solo, and Sanders call and response vocals in the second verse with Bundrick. Whereas the latter is quite the opposite, driven solely by Sanders’ breathtakingly emotional vocal delivery.
The only real fault with ‘Monsters In the Closet‘ is that there are some brief moments where you feel as though the album bears a strong similarity to their previous self-titled record released in 2011. We’re nitpicking a bit here, but in one respect, this points towards a lack of progression in sound. However, as was said, we’re nitpicking, and this isn’t enough to detract too much from the individual identity of the album, nor enough to take away from the fact that this is an absolutely incredible release.
Since Jason Lancaster left the band at the beginning of 2007, a lot of fans have felt as if Mayday Parade were playing in what was merely a shadow of their former glory. With ‘Monsters In The Closet,’ Mayday Parade prove that their former glory is nothing compared to where they are as a band now, and once again show us all why they are one of the most popular names in the modern alternative rock/pop punk scenes.
- Last Night For A Table Of Two
- 12 Through 15
- The Torment of Existence Weighed Against The Horror of Nonbeing
- Even Robots Need Blankets
- Repent and Repeat
- Sorry, Not Sorry
- Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About
- Hold Onto Me