The moment which many Mayday Parade fans have been waiting for has arrived at last. Not only are the Tallahassee five-piece back, but they finally got mad. While their previous releases have provided the background anthems for every teenager’s heartbreak since 2005, Black Lines is in almost an entirely new stratosphere.
Opening track ‘One of Them Will Destroy the Other’ featuring Real Friend’s Dan Lambton sets the tone for the album perfectly with its fast, thundering drumbeat and using vocalist Derek Sanders’ raspy, almost shouting as opposed to singing voice to fill the song with the passion you usually associate with the band. This, with the addition of Dan’s vocals towards the end of the song, creates an unexpected but glorious harmony that perfectly suits the angry tone of the track.
Following tracks ‘Just Out of Reach’ and ‘Hollow’ continue along the same path, creating an eerie atmosphere with themes of moving on and failed relationships, a common trend for the band but presented from a new perspective signalled by lyrics like “She’s a cold blooded killer/…Bring me the heart and leave the rest for dead”. The detached, cold lyrics are a new twist that represents what could be a new chapter in their career, moving away from the romantic ballads and emotional songs filled with grief that they have focused so heavily on until now.
However, in true Mayday Parade form the release wouldn’t be complete without its token slower, more melancholy songs coming in the form of ‘Letting Go’, ‘Narrow’ and ‘Look Up and See Infinity, Look Down and See Nothing’. At times they seem ill-suited to the album, especially ‘Letting Go’ that comes in right after the almost haunting and brutally harsh worded ‘Hollow’, but having said that, it wouldn’t be a Mayday Parade album without them.
Catherine Owen @