Mayday Parade’s Self-Titled Album Review

One of the most anticipated pop-punk albums this fall, Mayday Parade’s self-titled album is certainly a step-up from their sophomore album, Anywhere But Here. With a new label, new co-writers, and other influences brought on by a major label, ABH ended up lacking cohesiveness; instead of maturing, Mayday Parade’s sound ended up going toward the opposite direction.

Due to the disappointment of ABH, excitement built around the band’s new music, along with apprehension that the album would become another disappointment. However, the fact that Mayday Parade’s album is self-titled, which is both simple and straightforward, suggests that Mayday Parade now means business. As the band got rid of the co-writers and all the other nonsense brought on by the major record label, the self-title is fitting because this album is 100% Mayday Parade, and that is what makes it the best album Mayday Parade has ever made so far.

With the band’s first single, “Oh Well, Oh Well,” released in August, the song set the tenor and expectations for the rest of the album. Happily enough, those expectations were met. Derek Sanders’ soft piano playing and a voice fit for a lullaby left fans wanting more as it rings back to many ballads done by the group in previous albums. As it charges into their signature pop-punk sound — guitar riffs, booming percussion, and all — the song just gets better and better. It’s a good opening song for the album as it has all the signature elements that make Mayday Parade’s music praised, loved, used on Facebook statuses, and covered in Youtube videos: the smart, well-written lyrics, the catchy melodies, choruses, and hooks, the dual-vocals of Sanders and Jake Bundrick, and, their pretty piano ballads and high-powered pop-punk sound. It’s a good sum of the album as it shows how the band’s music has matured and that they now know what works and what doesn’t.

The next few songs maintain the momentum, despite the slightly slow tempo, such as “I’d Rather Make Mistakes Than Nothing At All”, “You’re Dead Wrong,” and “Stay,”; they would make great songs for concert sets due to the powerful vocals of Sanders and Bundrick, as well as the excellent integration of all the instruments, catchy choruses and hooks. “Priceless” is probably my favorite track of the album; it’s a great teenage anthem with a fast, upbeat tempo, explosive sound, relatable lyrics, and catchy chorus that makes me want to put the song on full-blast as I sing along to my hairbrush.

“A Shot Across the Bow” is yet another catchy song with an unforgettable, singable melody, despite how angry the lyrics may be (I hope you fall into the ocean/And the current leaves you helpless, swimming around/As the waves crash over you until drown and float away.”). What makes this album so great is how much emotion that each song can evoke in a person; whether it is a sadness, bitterness, or even happiness, the appealing melodies and choruses make it almost impossible to stop listening.

This wouldn’t be a Mayday Parade album if it didn’t contain at least ONE ballad, and the band did a killer one: “Without the Bitter the Sweet Isn’t As Sweet.” It starts off with soft strings and vocals, and as the percussion and heavy guitar/bass sounds come in, it’s like an explosion of emotion.

The album ends in a big, theatrical finish with “Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet,” with Alex Garcia’s awesome guitar riffs and emotionally packed, chorused vocals throughout.

What makes this album different from Anywhere But Here is that all the songs can stand alone; each one is different and memorable in their own right. Yet, the transition from song to song is impeccable; the band seemed to put a lot of thought into the order of the songs as playing the album continuously from beginning to end makes the entire album feel like it’s just one long song. A long yet beautiful song, that is! Anywhere But Here ended up being Mayday Parade’s sophomore slump, but their self-titled album is their comeback, showing that the band is sticking around for quite awhile.

Rating: 9.5/10

Derek Sanders – Vocals
Alex Garcia – Lead Guitar
Brook Betts – Rhythm Guitar
Jeremy Lenzo – Bass
Jake Bundrick – Drums/Vocals


1. Oh Well, Oh Well
2. No Heroes Allowed
3. When You See My Friends
4. You’re Dead Wrong
5. Priceless
6. Stay
7. Call Me Hopeless, Not Romantic
8. A Shot Across the Bow
9. Everything’s An Illusion
10. I’d Rather Make Mistakes Than Make Nothing At All
11. Without The Bitter The Sweet Isn’t As Sweet
12. Happy Endings Are Stories That Haven’t Ended Yet

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