Tallahassee locals Mayday Parade have been giants on the pop punk scene since releasing their debut album A Lesson In Romantics in 2007. Six years and two albums later and the boys return with their fourth full-length record, Monsters In The Closet.
Beginning with the album’s first single, Ghosts, it’s clear that Mayday Parade aren’t trying to redefine the genre with originality, but that is by no means a bad thing. Mayday Parade created a distinct sound with their debut album that they’ve remained loyal to ever since. Their brand of emotion-filled pop punk melodies is evident right from Ghosts to the end of the album.
Next up is Girls, the second single from Monsters In The Closet. The fast-paced, upbeat riffs and clean, passionate vocals are typical of Mayday Parade – creating a chipper sounding melody with darker lyrics (“She was young enough to fall in love/Naive enough to think she wanted out/It wasn’t worth her time for something beautiful/You say love, she says maybe”).
The album slows down with 12 Through 15, a punk ballad again about love (“Don’t swear that it’s over/If love is our secret/I know you won’t keep it”), which seems to be a recurring theme among Mayday Parade’s works.
The slow tracks continue in The Torment Of Existence Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing and Even Robots Need Blankets, two more emotionally vulnerable efforts which are melancholy and moving before things speed up again with Repent and Repeat.
Following the Monsters theme is Demons, another up-beat and catchy punk track about coming to terms with demons (“Now I can live with all my demons, we all get along/And they whisper in my ear “we’re safe, there’s always something wrong”).
Sorry, Not Sorry is a fun sounding track with not-so-fun lyrics about being taken advantage of by an unrequited love (“Well if you were lost I’d bring you safe back home/And wrestle with your demons, so you can be left alone/And I lay down my coat so you can walk all over it/Just like you do me”). This is again showcasing classic Mayday Parade style of dark lyrics over a happy, up-beat musical background.
Towards the end of the album is a super impressive ballad called Hold Onto Me. The song is an honest and raw plea to a lover to stick around as the two help each other through their problems. The emotion coming through the song is moving as Derek Sanders sings over music which is produced well to complement rather than overpower the vocals.
First there was Ghosts, then Demons, and coming in to finish the album is Angels. Angels is a beautiful and tragic song about the end of a relationship. A simple melodic background follows the aftermath of “Three years of something I call love/When the phone calls and photographs were never enough”. A really special thing about this song is the feature of two vocalists which becomes especially effective as they sing over the top of one another, showing off the way the voices complement each other.
Monsters In The Closet is nothing that we haven’t already heard from Mayday Parade, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive. Following the ups and downs of love including the Ghosts that hang around and the Demons that fight their way in, the album is a beautiful and moving collection of songs and another hit for the Tallahassee boys.
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