Mayday Parade has been cranking out pop punk power ballads since 2006.
Most notable is their first full length album, A Lesson in Romantics, which is arguably one of the best angsty, young love, breakup albums in their genre.
Before the release of Black Lines Mayday Parade let out the lead single, “Keep In Mind, Transmogrification Is A New Technology.”
This track seemed to only prove that Mayday Parade refused to do anything other than mechanically drop heart-string tugging ballads.
But on October 9 they released what seems to be the best album of their career, Black Lines.
With the very first track Mayday Parade destroys any doubt in the record.
They open with a rush of concussion waves from Jack Bundrick’s drum kit, a feature of Real Friends’ Dan Lambton, and a grittier, gnarlier side of vocals from legendary Derek Sanders.
This is an entirely new sound for them.
If it weren’t for the still catchy, emotional chorus that follows, this track probably would not even be identifiable as Mayday Parade.
The shockingly passionate standout instrumentals continue throughout the whole album, manifested in the track “Hollow” through a distinctly groovy bassline and in the track “Let’s Be Honest” by a heavy, grunge riffage.
Derek Sanders, the lead singer, commented on the creation of Black Lines to SputnikMusic by saying that he “felt like [they] wanted to try something new and fresh… Overall, on this album [they] went for more mature songwriting and created an album for [themselves] and not just writing for fans.”
This fearless experimentation paid off. Overall, this is the only album Mayday Parade has dropped that feels like a complete work.
Their previous records have largely been single focused without any clear direction for the album as a whole.
With the explosion of this genuinely surprising record it seems that all doors are open for Mayday Parade.
The only certainty is that whatever comes next for them will not be predictable.